Author Archives: Gary Abel

Non-response bias and quality of care

How are non-response and patient experience scores related? A new CCHSR study has some interesting findings…

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Hospitals and avoidable mortality rates…the saga continues

Regular readers of this blog will now I’ve had a bit of a bee in my bonnet about government plans to rank hospitals on avoidable mortality based on retrospective case record review. I won’t go into the arguments in detail again (if you want you can read them in the original blog here, or the …read more

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The blog about a paper that started as a blog

Gary Abel, CCHSR Statistician, reflects on how a blog on hospital mortality statistics became a paper which has, in a full circle sort of way, now become this blog…

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Out-of-hours – out of favour?

Latest research from CCHSR shows that commercial out-of-hours providers are rated poorer than NHS providers. But is this the whole story?

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Early diagnosis of cancer: advances and new evidence

CCHSR researchers have been busy with a number of new analyses on the early diagnosis of cancer, including the potential impact of delayed diagnosis on survival. Gary Abel summarises our collection of five new papers here

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Hunt’s proposed ranking of hospitals on avoidable mortality rates is a bad idea

Over the weekend it was announced that Jeremy Hunt wanted the NHS to tackle “avoidable deaths” in English hospitals (see this BBC report). On the face of it this seems like a good thing. Plans to review case-notes to see if anything could be learned, and then using these to establish a national rate of …read more

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ROC curves and the forgotten lesson of Pythagoras

You know the feeling – someone has said something at some point, but you can’t find the reference to back it up. Well according to Wikipedia, no specific attribution of Pythagoras’ theorem to Pythagoras exists in the surviving Greek literature from the five centuries after Pythagoras lived, let alone from the big man himself. So …read more

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When does a ‘poor’ practice mean a ‘poor’ doctor?

This was the title of our paper published today in the BMJ when we first submitted it to the journal. However, the BMJ doesn’t allow questions as titles so it became the less sensationalist “Understanding high and low patient experience scores in primary care: analysis of patients’ survey data for general practices and individual doctors”. …read more

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Let not thy will roar, when thy power can but whisper

Does power matter when using routine data and is there a point in performing a sample size/power calculation? Gary argues yes and yes!

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How many times will you see your GP before they think cancer and refer? It depends!

Back in February 2012 we published a paper in the Lancet Oncology looking at the variation in the number of times patients had to visit their GP before they were first referred to hospital prior to a cancer diagnosis. Here is the story behind the paper.

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  • The Cambridge Centre for Health Services Research (CCHSR) is a thriving collaboration between the University of Cambridge and RAND Europe. We aim to inform health policy and practice by conducting research and evaluation studies of organisation and delivery of healthcare, including safety, effectiveness, efficiency and patient experience.