• Bypassing nearest hospital for more distant neuroscience care in head-injured adults with suspected traumatic brain injury: findings of the head injury transportation straight to neurosurgery (HITS-NS) pilot cluster randomised trial

      Lecky, Fiona E.; Russell, Wanda; McClelland, Graham; Pennington, Elspeth; Fuller, Gordon W.; Goodacre, Steve; Han, Kyee; Curran, Andrew; Holliman, Damian; Chapman, Nathan; et al. (2017-10)
      Objective Reconfiguration of trauma services, with direct transport of patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI) to specialist neuroscience centres (SNCs)— bypassing non-specialist acute hospitals (NSAHs), could improve outcomes. However, delays in stabilisation of airway, breathing and circulation (ABC) may worsen outcomes when compared with selective secondary transfer from nearest NSAH to SNC. We conducted a pilot cluster randomised controlled trial to determine the feasibility and plausibility of bypassing suspected patients with TBI —directly into SNCs—producing a measurable effect. Setting Two English Ambulance Services. Participants 74 clusters (ambulance stations) were randomised within pairs after matching for important characteristics. Clusters enrolled head-injured adults— injured nearest to an NSAH—with internationally accepted TBI risk factors and stable ABC. We excluded participants attended by Helicopter Emergency Medical Services or who were injured more than 1 hour by road from nearest SNC. Interventions Intervention cluster participants were transported directly to an SNC bypassing nearest NSAH; control cluster participants were transported to nearest NSAH with selective secondary transfer to SNC. Outcomes Trial recruitment rate (target n=700 per annum) and percentage with TBI on CT scan (target 80%) were the primary feasibility outcomes. 30-day mortality, 6-month Extended Glasgow Outcome Scale and quality of life were secondary outcomes. Results 56 ambulance station clusters recruited 293 patients in 12 months. The trial arms were similar in terms of age, conscious level and injury severity. Less than 25% of recruited patients had TBI on CT (n=70) with 7% (n=20) requiring neurosurgery. Complete case analysis showed similar 30-day mortality in the two trial arms (control=8.8 (2.7–14.0)% vs intervention=9.4(2.3–14.0)%). Conclusion Bypassing patients with suspected TBI to SNCs gives an overtriage (false positive) ratio of 13:1 for neurosurgical intervention and 4:1 for TBI. A measurable effect from a full trial of early neuroscience care following bypass is therefore unlikely https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/bmjopen/7/10/e016355.full.pdf This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2017-016355
    • Clinically unnecessary and avoidable emergency health service use for epilepsy: A survey of what English services are doing to reduce it

      Mathieson, Amy; Marson, Anthony G.; Jackson, Mike; Ridsdale, Leone; Goodacre, Steve; Dickson, Jon M.; Noble, Adam J. (2020-02-19)
    • Developing patient-centred, feasible alternative care for adult emergency department users with epilepsy: protocol for the mixed-methods observational ‘Collaborate’ project

      Noble, Adam J.; Mathieson, Amy; Ridsdale, Leone; Holmes, E.A.; Morgan, Myfanwy; McKinlay, Alison; Dickson, Jon M.; Jackson, Mike; Hughes, Dyfrig A.; Goodacre, Steve; et al. (2019-11-02)
      INTRODUCTION: Emergency department (ED) visits for epilepsy are common, costly, often clinically unnecessary and typically lead to little benefit for epilepsy management. An 'Alternative Care Pathway' (ACP) for epilepsy, which diverts people with epilepsy (PWE) away from ED when '999' is called and leads to care elsewhere, might generate savings and facilitate improved ambulatory care. It is unknown though what features it should incorporate to make it acceptable to persons from this particularly vulnerable target population. It also needs to be National Health Service (NHS) feasible. This project seeks to identify the optimal ACP configuration. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: Mixed-methods project comprising three-linked stages. In Stage 1, NHS bodies will be surveyed on ACPs they are considering and semi-structured interviews with PWE and their carers will explore attributes of care important to them and their concerns and expectations regarding ACPs. In Stage 2, Discrete Choice Experiments (DCE) will be completed with PWE and carers to identify the relative importance placed on different care attributes under common seizure scenarios and the trade-offs people are willing to make. The uptake of different ACP configurations will be estimated. In Stage 3, two Knowledge Exchange workshops using a nominal group technique will be run. NHS managers, health professionals, commissioners and patient and carer representatives will discuss DCE results and form a consensus on which ACP configuration best meets users' needs and is NHS feasible. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Ethical approval: NRES Committee (19/WM/0012) and King's College London ethics Committee (LRS-18/19-10353). Primary output will be identification of optimal ACP configuration which should be prioritised for implementation and evaluation. A pro-active dissemination strategy will make those considering developing or supporting an epilepsy ACP aware of the project and opportunities to take part in it. It will also ensure they are informed of its findings.Abstract, URL This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2019-031696
    • The head injury transportation straight to neurosurgery (HITS-NS) randomised trial: a feasibility study

      Lecky, Fiona; Russell, Wanda; Fuller, Gordon W.; McClelland, Graham; Pennington, Elspeth; Goodacre, Steve; Han, Kyee; Curran, Andrew; Holliman, Damian; Freeman, Jennifer; et al. (2016-01)
    • Paramedics' views on their seizure management learning needs: a qualitative study in England

      Sherratt, Frances C.; Snape, Darlene; Goodacre, Steve; Jackson, Mike; Pearson, Mike; Marson, Anthony G.; Noble, Adam J. (2017-01)
      Introduction: The UK ambulance service often attends to suspected seizures. Most persons attended to will not require the facilities of a hospital emergency department (ED) and so should be managed at scene or by using alternative care pathways. Most though are transported to ED. One factor that helps explain this is paramedics can have low confidence in managing seizures. Objectives: With a view to ultimately developing additional seizure management training for practicing paramedics, we explored their learning needs, delivery preferences and potential drivers and barriers to uptake and effectiveness. Design and setting: Semistructured interviews were conducted with a purposive sample of paramedics from the English ambulance service. Interviews were transcribed and thematically analysed. Participants: A diverse sample of 19 professionals was recruited from 5 different ambulance NHS trusts and the College of Paramedics. Results: Participants said seizure management was neglected within basic and postregistration paramedic training. Most welcomed additional learning opportunities and identified gaps in knowledge. This included how to differentiate between seizure types and patients that do and do not need ED. Practical, interactive e-learning was deemed the most preferable delivery format. To allow paramedics to fully implement any increase in skill resulting from training, organisational and structural changes were said to be needed. This includes not penalising paramedics for likely spending longer on scene. Conclusions: This study provides the first evidence on the learning needs and preferences of paramedics regarding seizures. It can be used to inform the development of a bespoke training programme for paramedics. Future research should develop and then assess the benefit such training has on paramedic confidence and on the quality of care they offer to seizure patients. https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/bmjopen/7/1/e014024.full.pdf This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2016-014024
    • Qualitative study of paramedics' experiences of managing seizures: a national perspective from England.

      Noble, Adam J.; Snape, Darlene; Goodacre, Steve; Jackson, Mike; Sherratt, Frances C.; Pearson, Mike; Marson, Anthony G. (2016-11)
      Objectives: The UK ambulance service is expected to now manage more patients in the community and avoid unnecessary transportations to hospital emergency departments (ED). Most people it attends who have experienced seizures have established epilepsy, have experienced uncomplicated seizures and so do not require the full facilities of an ED. Despite this, most are transported there. To understand why, we explored paramedics’ experiences of managing seizures. Design and setting: Semistructured interviews were conducted with a purposive sample of paramedics from the English ambulance service. Interviews were transcribed and thematically analysed. Participants: A diverse sample of 19 professionals was recruited from 5 different ambulance NHS trusts and the College of Paramedics. Results: Participants’ confirmed how most seizure patients attended to do not clinically require an ED. They explained, however, that a number of factors influence their care decisions and create a momentum for these patients to still be taken. Of particular importance was the lack of access paramedics have to background medical information on patients. This, and the limited seizure training paramedics receive, meant paramedics often cannot interpret with confidence the normality of a seizure presentation and so transport patients out of precaution. The restricted time paramedics are expected to spend ‘on scene’ due to the way the ambulance services’ performance is measured and that are few alternative care pathways which can be used for seizure patients also made conveyance likely. Conclusions: Paramedics are working within a system that does not currently facilitate nonconveyance of seizure patients. Organisational, structural, professional and educational factors impact care decisions and means transportation to ED remains the default option. Improving paramedics access to medical histories, their seizure management training and developing performance measures for the service that incentivise care that is cost-effective for all of the health service might reduce unnecessary conveyances to ED. https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/bmjopen/6/11/e014022.full.pdf This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2016-014022