UoA 8: Primary Care and Other Community Based Clinical Subjects

Primary Care is a part of the Division of Population Health at UCL that was formed in 2003 bringing together the Departments of Epidemiology and Public Health; Primary Care and Population Sciences and Mental Health Sciences.  The Division hosts three MRC Units – the MRC Clinical Trials Unit (Director: Darbyshire (UoA 6)); the MRC General Practice Research Framework (Director: Nazareth since 2005); and the MRC National Survey for Health and Development (Director:  Kuh (UoA 6) since 2007).  Over the years primary care research at UCL has developed major national and international partnerships and have secured funding in collaboration with 15 institutes across the UK, four MRC units (Biostatistics, Clinical Trials Unit, Health Services Research Collaboration and Social and Public Health Sciences) and 13 institutes from other countries (US, EU, Africa, India and South East Asia).

UCL in 1998 created a single Medical School through amalgamation of UCL and Royal Free Hospital Medical Schools.  By 2001, UCL Biomedicine consisted of two faculties, Clinical Sciences (FCS) and Life Sciences (FLS) and five research institutes, of which four were separately submitted to RAE2001.  To enhance organisational coherence and further integrate the research effort, a period of consultation culminating in a formal international panel review (Chair: Sir Keith Peters) in 2005, resulted in the FCS and research institutes being amalgamated into a single Faculty of Biomedical Sciences (FBS) composed of 13 thematically based research divisions.  The FBS thematic research programmes are aligned, where appropriate, with NHS Trusts.  The implementation of this has enriched primary care research and strengthened links with epidemiology and public health (UoA6), psychiatry, neurosciences and clinical psychology (UoA9), health services research (UoA7), the joint centre for rheumatology (UoA4) , basic research in aging (UoA14), basic and clinical research in infectious diseases (UoA3) at UCL.  In RAE 2001 UCL made a single submission in community based subjects.  In RAE 2008, all members of the Division are being submitted under Panel B but under four separate submissions to UoA6, UoA7, UoA8 and UoA9

Our over-arching mission in UoA8 is to promote and disseminate internationally competitive multi-disciplinary research of clinical relevance, with particular emphasis on the interface between epidemiology, public health and primary care.  In recognition of the multifaceted nature of primary care we maintain a good balance between quantitative and qualitative, pure and applied, and primary and secondary research, thus contributing to the empirical knowledge base whilst also developing and testing new concepts and theories underpinning the discipline of primary care. We describe focussed programmes of research but UoA8 researchers work across groups allowing free flow of knowledge and utilisation of methodological expertise.

The overarching focus of our research is the design and evaluation of complex health interventions organised around: mental health in primary care, e-health, and the dissemination and implementation of innovations in the organisation and delivery of health care.  Our major achievements are:

i) Mental health: a) advancing knowledge of managing severe mental illnesses contributing to NICE schizophrenia guidance; b) evaluation of educational and cognitive stimulation therapy interventions for dementia directly informing NICE guidance; c) pioneering research on assertive outreach treatments now incorporated into the National service framework.    

ii) e-health: a landmark RCT on virtual outreach consultations taking forwarding an under researched field of medicine. 

iii) Dissemination and implementation: a unique meta-narrative analysis on implementation of innovations in healthcare adopted by the National Institute for Innovation and Improvement in England, National Leadership and Innovation Agency for Healthcare in Wales, Chief Scientist’s Office in Scotland and Australian National Institute of Clinical Studies.

Since 2001 we have attracted external research funds of £23.7 million, £8 million (over 90% from OSI research councils, UK government bodies, the NHS and charities) in UoA8 (RA4), £9.8 million (65% from OSI research councils, UK government bodies and European Commission) allocated to UoA6 and 9 but with UoA8 staff as major collaborators and £5.9 million awarded to external HEIs working collaboratively with UoA8 staff (75% from OSI research councils, government & NHS bodies).

Download full text of the RA5a statement for primary Care & Other Community Based Clinical Subjects (pdf 104Kb)

Staff names below link to submitted publications:

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Page last modified on 11 jan 08 14:54