Impact of Screening Programme is at the Heart of New Research

Heart Screening patient
Aston University are leading a project that is seeking to help Heart of Birmingham Teaching Primary Care Trust to evaluate their Cardiovascular Screening Programme. The results of the project will benefit a diverse range of people as Heart of Birmingham Teaching Primary Care Trust’s catchment area includes some of the most deprived neighbourhoods in the city as well as the affluent, vibrant shopping and business districts.

 Through working with Aston University academics on this project the managers at the Trust hope to recognise the precise impact of their interventions, in order to build upon strengths and eliminate weaknesses. The aim is that the information gathered will help the Trust in prevention of disease, earlier diagnosis of disease and more effective disease management.

 The project will involve a systematic review of existing quantitative and qualitative evidence relating to vascular screening to identify good practice, and interviews with patients to identify their perceptions of the screening programme. Three months after the initial round of interviews patients will be interviewed again to capture their experiences after receiving screening. The interviewers will be asking in particular if there is any additional information or support that could be provided by health professionals to facilitate behaviour change and to highlight any barriers experienced. Interviews will also be carried out with health professionals to identify their perceptions of the screening programme. GP’s perspectives will also be assessed via a short online questionnaire.

The team will synthesise the literature review, patient and professional interviews to provide contextualised standard good practice. The results of this synthesis will directly allow NHS managers and commissioners to recognise the precise impact of the intervention.

 The Trust is located in the centre of Birmingham and provides healthcare services for around 300,000 people. The role of the Trust is to plan and buy health services from a range of organisations such as hospitals as well as providing some community healthcare services directly with over 800 community healthcare staff. They also manage healthcare services from dentists, doctors, opticians, pharmacists and urgent and emergency care as well as specialist services like mental health and sexual health, for the population.

 Mary Rutledge, programme manager at Heart of BirminghamTeaching Primary Care Trust said, ‘The purpose of the cardiovascular screening programme is to identify an individual’s risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes and kidney disease and offer the appropriate risk management advice and interventions to everyone included in the programme. It is therefore a fundamental requirement that Heart of Birmingham PCT has the necessary services in place to fulfil this objective. The evaluation being undertaken by Aston University will help us achieve this goal by exploring the impact of the programme and ensuring we have a good understanding of programme delivery and patient experience. Any issues that are identified will positively inform the future development of the programme. ‘

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