University of Birmingham: HSMC
October 2016 - Focus on Primary Care
Welcome to the latest edition of the Health Services Management Centre (HSMC) update in which we set out key highlights from our current programme of research, teaching and leadership development.

Primary, community and out-of-hospital care is a key focus of our work at HSMC. For example, we are undertaking research into the role of community hospitals, the evaluation of the multispecialty community provider NHS Vanguard scheme in Dudley and are a partner in the National Evaluation of Integrated Care and Support Pioneer Schemes.

Our research work in this area is complemented by our teaching and development work. In November, we are holding a joint HSMC and Economic and Social Science Research Council workshop exploring the current and future role of the GP receptionist and another focusing on older people’s health and wellbeing. A learning event on multi-disciplinary team-working will use case studies to inform learning and practice in this area.

We also ensure that international research insights are brought to bear on our primary care work, as in a recent webinar on emerging international models of primary care delivered in partnership with the Australia and New Zealand Health Services Research Association and events we are planning for May 2017 examining the experience of New Zealand’s ‘primary health care home’ approach.

This newsletter gives further information about these and other examples of HSMC work that is intended to inform and support the future development of primary care.
Austerity and the NHS
Anita Charlesworth, Director of Research and Economics at the Health Foundation, and Specialist Advisor to the House of Lords’ Select Committee on the long-term sustainability of the NHS delivered a fascinating and lively seminar on the implications of austerity in the NHS to a packed audience of academics and students at HSMC recently. Her session is now available to view.
Priorities 2016
At the start of the autumn term, HSMC co-hosted an international conference on Priorities in Healthcare in Birmingham, together with colleagues in the University’s Health Economics Unit. At this time of economic hardship for so many health systems internationally, it has never been more important to understand how best to set priorities and take difficult decisions about funding of health and care. The conference provided the opportunity for academics, policymakers and practitioners to discuss the most recent rigorous and innovative research on these topics. Read Paul Healy's Viewpoint on the conference.
New publication to support CCGs
in prioritisation
Produced in collaboration with the University of Birmingham, NHS Clinical Commissioners report Making Difficult Decisions sets out factors that can enable CCGs to successfully command the confidence of the public, patients, local politicians and other key stakeholders when making changes. It draws on both academic research and practical insight from commissioners, patient groups and NHS England. The report, authored by HSMC’s Dr Iestyn Williams provides some tips for clinical commissioners navigating their way through an extremely challenging financial climate.
National evaluation of Integrated Care Pioneers
Judith Smith and Robin Miller recently led a workshop at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine as part of the National Evaluation of Integrated Care and Support Pioneers. The workshop brought together colleagues from the Pioneer sites - national leaders in exploring innovative approaches to person centred and co-ordinated care - to explore the role and approach of local evaluation studies.
More news stories >
Yvonne Sawbridge, provides a personal perspective on the policy neglect of district nursing, as explored in the recent King's Fund report Understanding Quality in District Nursing Services. Drawing on her work on Emotional Labour and Compassionate Care, Yvonne makes the case for finding, nurturing, developing and protecting the district nursing service.

September’s Health Select Committee report on the transfer of Public Health to Local Authorities is given the once over by Beck Taylor, a public health physician and clinical research fellow at the University of Birmingham.

And Dutch academic Professor Bert Vrijhoef sets out his thoughts about the ways in which integrated care can best be evaluated in a robust and pragmatic manner, drawing on the presentation he made to a recent HSMC and LSHTM seminar on this topic.
Visit our Viewpoints >
Community Hospitals
Deborah Davidson and colleagues at HSMC and the Third Sector Research Centre have been busy over the summer undertaking field visits to the nine case study sites involved in the Community Hospital Project, a three-year study funded by the National Institute for Health Research Health Services and Delivery Research Programme. This study aims to explore and understand the value of the relationship between Community Hospitals and their communities and the nature and extent of patients and carers experiences of community hospital care and services. A report will be published towards the end of 2017.
Developing a new primary care payments framework
Robin Miller is working with Dudley, a West Midlands-based Multispecialty Community Provider NHS Vanguard, to develop a new payments framework to incentivise and support general practices to adopt the new model of care. The new framework is intended to provide a local alternative to the national Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF).
More research >
Moving beyond stereotypes about the GP receptionist
From the ‘dragon behind the desk’ to the person who holds the whole GP practice together - this interactive policy and research workshop will explore the changing roles of the GP receptionist.
visit the website >
Older people's health and wellbeing: Who decides?
This ESRC Festival of Social Science event will share research findings from two recently completed large research projects. We are looking to see how the research findings relate to people’s experiences as older decision-makers, and how decision-making can be better supported.
visit the website >
The Multi-Disciplinary Team: A learning event
Multi-disciplinary teams (MDTs) are emerging as a means of delivering patient-centred integrated care and are at the heart of many of the new models of care in Vanguards and Sustainability and Transformation Plans. This learning event is an opportunity to come together to share understanding and experience of MDTs through presentations of up-to-date evidence and case studies exploring what works in practice, with opportunities for sharing, discussion and reflection.
visit the website >
Welcome to our new students!
We are delighted to welcome two new student intakes on to our postgraduate programmes. Our Masters students have just completed their first module Health Service Management, while our first cohort of Medical Students have begun their Intercalated Degree (BMedSci) with us. We welcome all our new students and look forward to working with them throughout their time with us.
visit the website >
PhD/MPhil Health Services Management and PhD/MPhil Social Policy
These doctoral degrees offer the opportunity to conduct an original, in-depth piece of research on a topic of your choice. Our doctoral research students form an integral part of a thriving community conducting internationally leading research with relevance to practice and policy.
visit the website >
Bespoke methodology courses
HSMC offer bespoke courses on methodological issues, such as focus group research, participant-observation or undertaking literature reviews and synthesis. These can be tailored to your needs and delivered either at our Centre in Birmingham or on-site at your organisation. Please contact Nicola Gale or Kerry Allen for further information.
Recent Publications
Appleton, S. and Miller, R. (2016) What the evidence tells us about improving urgent care for older people. A literature review to support the independent Commission on Improving Urgent Care for Older People. London: NHS Confederation

Dorning, H., Davies, M., Ariti, C., Allen, K. and Georghiou, T. (2016) Knowing you are not alone: Understanding peer support for stroke survivors. London: The Nuffield Trust

Miller, R., Brown, H. and Mangan, C. (2016) Integrated care in action: A practical guide for health, social care and housing support. London: Jessica Kingsley

Miller, R. (2015) 'Prevention and independence in adult social care.' In: Walden, D. (ed.) Reimagining social care. Totnes: RIPFA

Rees, J., Miller, R., and Buckingham, H. (2016) Commission incomplete: exploring the new model for purchasing public services from the third sector. Journal of Social Policy [online]. Available at: [Accessed 6 October 2016]
View our recent publications >
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