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Professor Alastair Hay

Professor Alastair Hay

Professor Alastair Hay

Professor of Primary Care

Area of research

Community and primary care based infection research

Office Room 1.01d
Canynge Hall,
39 Whatley Road, Bristol BS8 2PS
(See a map)

+44 (0) 117 928 7376


Primary care is the first point of contact for, and manages the vast majority of, patients with infectious disease. Primary care is also responsible for over 80% of all health service antibiotic use. Antimicrobial resistance is at the top of the international public health agenda and is responsible for over 30,000 premature deaths in Europe annually. The CAPC infection group conducts internationally recognised research to improve the management of acute infections and the use of antibiotics in primary care. We use mixed methods and collaborate with a wide range of disciplinary experts to conduct research in five areas:

1.    To develop and evaluate the clinical and cost effectiveness of interventions promoting self-care of infections at home

2.    To improve the targeting and effective use of antibiotics

3.    To investigate the relationship between primary care prescribed antibiotics and antimicrobial resistance

4.    To develop and evaluate the clinical and cost effectiveness of interventions to reduce the severity of infection associated symptoms

5. To understand the social and cultural influences on the management of infections by clinicians, patients and carers, including health care utilisation, prescribing practices, and clinician-patient/carer communication.

I lead a 15 strong group, who include two Research Fellows, a Trial Manager, three Research Associates/Assistants, a Research Nurse, a PhD student, an Executive Assistant and five Research Administrators. Together, our success is built on the talent and commitment of our staff; our focus on impactful applied health research with high quality publications; our inter-disciplinary links within the School of Social and Community Medicine and across the University of Bristol; and our collaborative links with like-minded researchers at the Universities of Oxford, Southampton and Cardiff. With these three centres, we have an active multicentre research portfolio of nine studies valued at £14M, three of which are led by Bristol and valued at £4.4M, with a further £1.4M of Bristol-only led research.


Alastair qualified with Distinction in Medicine from Sheffield Medical School in 1991. He has been a General Practitioner since 1997 and joined the Academic Unit of Primary Health Care at the University of Bristol in 2001. His overall career aim is to produce nationally and internationally valued primary care research and promote and deliver high quality clinical care and teaching in the context of academic and clinical multi-disciplinary teams.

Antibiotic guardian


Alastair leads the organisation and delivery of the Primary Health Care teaching of communication skills to Bristol medical students. On the postgraduate side, he teaches Critical Appraisal skills to Academic F2 and Academic Clinical Fellow Doctors.


  • Antimicrobial resistance Antibiotics Infection Primary Care


  • Respiratory tract infections Urinary tract infections


  • Systematic reviews Randomised controlled trials Prospective cohort and case control studies Qualitative methods


I have two broad research interests relating to primary care: 1)The diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of common problems presenting to primary care, for example acute cough and fever in children. 2) The appropriate use of antibiotics in primary care and the relationship between primary care antibiotics and the development of antimicrobial resistance in the community.

  • child
  • common illnesses
  • diagnosis
  • antibiotics
  • antibiotic resistance
  • primary health care
  • Memberships


    School of Social and Community Medicine

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    Recent publications

    View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

    Networks & contacts

    • Peter Muir Andrew Lovering Alasdair MacGowan John Leeming Patricia Lucas Peter Blair Jenny Ingram Jeremy Horwood Tim Peters Jonathan Sterne

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