Sarah leads a research programme exploring predictors of, and interventions for, unscheduled care use and avoidable hospital admissions. Unplanned hospital admissions are one of the biggest challenges facing the NHS. They represent around 65 % of hospital bed days in England (34m bed days and 5 million emergency admissions in 2009/10) and despite the implementation of a large number of programmes aimed at reducing these admissions the numbers are growing rapidly year on year. Sarah's programme of research focuses on predicting and reducing risk factors for unplanned hospital admission and on the effectiveness of interventions to reduce admission. These projects include systematic reviews, qualitative studies, case studies and observational studies. The population and patient groups included vary from children with respiratory conditions to people at the end of life.
Sarah also collaborates on research projects in the areas of multi-morbidity, patient safety and the management of dermatological conditions. She is the author of a systematic review of interventions for acne.
Sarah is academic lead for the local NIHR Primary Care Research Network. She is a member of a number of national research funding and related committees and an advisor to several national bodies.
Sarah is a Reader in the Academic Unit of Primary Health Care at the University of Bristol. She was appointed as a Consultant Senior Lecturer in Bristol in October 2006 after being awarded a Medical Research Council Clinician Scientist Fellowship and became a Reader in 2011. Prior to coming to Bristol she worked at the Hull York Medical School where she was involved in designing and delivering an innovative problem based learning curriculum and in developing a research strategy for the new organisation and it's academic and NHS partners. Previously, Sarah worked at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne as a Lecturer, subsequently Clinical Senior Lecturer, in Primary Health Care. She was a visiting fellow at Harvard University from 1995 to 1997. Sarah has a MD from the University of London and a Masters in Public Health from Harvard School of Public Health.
Sarah was a Non-executive director of an NHS board for seven years. She is an Honorary Consultant in Primary Health Care at NHS Bristol. She works clinically as a general practitioner.
A recently completed series of systematic reviews of interventions for unplanned hospital admission concluded:
Overall, the evidence to date suggests that majority of the service interventions included in these reviews do not help reduce unplanned admissions in a wide range of patients. There was evidence that education/self-management, exercise/rehabilitation and telemedicine in selected patient populations, and specialist cardiac care can help reduce unplanned admissions. There was insufficient evidence to determine whether home visits, pay by performance schemes, A & E services and continuity of care reduce unplanned admissions.
Sarah co-leads the EBM and Public Health vertical theme of the medical school curriculum in Bristol and teaches on several of the medical student courses delivered by the School of Social and Community Medicine.
I am currently working on a research programme exploring predictors of primary care sensitive hospital admissions, which will assist primary care clinicians to predict patients at risk of unplanned hospital admission. I am also working with colleagues in Newcastle on clinical trials of the management of shoulder pain in primary care. I continue my secondary research into the management of acne.
View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system
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