Team win research paper of the year


Specialists at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust were part of a team of researchers which has won a Research Paper of the Year Category Award from the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP).

Prof Peter Scanlon, Consultant Ophthalmologist at the Trust and Visiting Professor at the University of Gloucestershire, led a team of researchers who worked on a study which explored the factors which contribute to a high or low uptake of retinopathy screening among patients in primary care.

The RCGP award recognises an individual or group of researchers who have undertaken and published an exceptional piece of research relating to general practice or primary care and they invited the paper’s lead author Dr Antje Lindemeyer to present the results at the RCGP annual conference.

The NHS Diabetic Eye Screening Programme aims to reduce the risk of sight loss among people with diabetes in England by allowing quick diagnosis of sight-threatening retinopathy. However the rate of screening uptake between GP practices can vary from 55% to 95%. The paper looked at the factors contributing to this variance in uptake including service and staff interaction. It concluded by recommending a range of measures to improve patients’ attendance at screening as well as more research.

Prof Scanlon said: “It is a great honour for the team to have our work recognised by the RCGP this year. It has been a great experience to work with such a talented team of researchers.

“Diabetic retinopathy is a serious complication of type 1 and type 2 diabetes and our research paper highlights the importance of multidisciplinary clinical practice in primary care.”

Entitled ‘Influence of primary care practices on patients’ uptake of diabetic retinopathy screening: a qualitative case study’, the study was jointly led by Prof Scanlon and Prof Jackie Sturt (Kings College, London, formerly University of Warwick) and supported by Irene Stratton (senior statistician from Gloucestershire), Dr Antje Lindemeyer (University of Birmingham, formerly University of Warwick) and Dr Alison Hipwell, Mr Nidal al-Athamneh, Dr Roger Gadsby and Dr Paul O’Hare from the University of Warwick.

The research study was supported by a grant from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) for Patient Benefit programme and conducted in Gloucestershire Warwickshire and Birmingham.

The paper was published in the British Journal of General Practice in August 2014 and can be read here: