Members of the Community and Health Research Unit, Dr Stephanie Armstrong, Dr Murray Smith, Professor Graham Law and Professor Niro Siriwardena attended a week long meeting with colleagues from Imperial College London (Professor Azeem Majeed, Dr Matthew Harris, Dr Yasser Bhatti, Dr Mala Rao, Professor Peter Childs and Professor James Barlow), Sri Lanka (Drs Rivaiz Haniffa and Dr Sajeeva Ranaweera, University of Colombo), Pakistan (Dr Asim Mahmood of Integrated Health Services) and Bangladesh (Dr Foysol Chowdhury of BRAC) to develop a collaboration exploring frugal innovation and quality improvement in primary care in middle income countries in South Asia.
The meeting consisted of seminars, presentations and discussions on the current systems of primary care in Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, other countries such as Brazil, and the United Kingdom, those systems being developed to improve care, how we could introduce frugal low cost innovations to enhance care in low and middle income countries and how these innovations could be introduced into the UK through ‘reverse innovation’. There were also presentations on research ethics and intellectual property.
During the week’s meeting professor Siriwardena was invited to give a presentation on his work on quality improvement, specifically on ‘Quality Improvement Collaboratives: theory, design and effects’. This summarised work on three large scale QICs, Resources for Effective Sleep Treatment (REST), the Ambulance Services Cardiovascular Quality Initiative (ASCQI) and Scaling up PINCER, a pharmacist intervention to reduce clinically important prescribing errors in primary care, all funded by the Health Foundation and the last also co-funded by East Midlands Academic Health Science network. The talk developed the idea that collaboratives had different purposes and that syntheses should take this into account.
The meeting finished with partners agreeing to work together in future, support each other on the need to develop primary care and to implement frugal innovations as part of quality improvement initiatives in the countries involved.
By Professor Niro Siriwardena