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    ABSTRACT: The language used by National Health Service (NHS) "commissioning" managers when discussing their roles and responsibilities can be seen as a manifestation of "identity work", defined as a process of identifying. This paper aims to offer a novel approach to analysing "identity work" by triangulation of multiple analytical methods, combining analysis of the content of text with analysis of its form. Fairclough's discourse analytic methodology is used as a framework. Following Fairclough, the authors use analytical methods associated with Halliday's systemic functional linguistics. While analysis of the content of interviews provides some information about NHS Commissioners' perceptions of their roles and responsibilities, analysis of the form of discourse that they use provides a more detailed and nuanced view. Overall, the authors found that commissioning managers have a higher level of certainty about what commissioning is not rather than what commissioning is; GP managers have a high level of certainty of their identity as a GP rather than as a manager; and both GP managers and non-GP managers oscillate between multiple identities depending on the different situations they are in. This paper offers a novel approach to triangulation, based not on the usual comparison of multiple data sources, but rather based on the application of multiple analytical methods to a single source of data. This paper also shows the latent uncertainty about the nature of commissioning enterprise in the English NHS.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2013 · Journal of Health Organisation and Management
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    ABSTRACT: General practice receptionists fulfil an essential role in UK primary care, shaping patient access to health professionals. They are often portrayed as powerful 'gatekeepers'. Existing literature and management initiatives advocate more training to improve their performance and, consequently, the patient experience. To explore the complexity of the role of general practice receptionists by considering the wider practice context in which they work. Ethnographic observation in seven urban general practices in the north-west of England. Seven researchers conducted 200 hours of ethnographic observation, predominantly in the reception areas of each practice. Forty-five receptionists were involved in the study and were asked about their work as they carried out their activities. Observational notes were taken. Analysis involved ascribing codes to incidents considered relevant to the role and organising these into related clusters. Receptionists were faced with the difficult task of prioritising patients, despite having little time, information, and training. They felt responsible for protecting those patients who were most vulnerable, however this was sometimes made difficult by protocols set by the GPs and by patients trying to 'play' the system. Framing the receptionist-patient encounter as one between the 'powerful' and the 'vulnerable' gets in the way of fully understanding the complex tasks receptionists perform and the contradictions that are inherent in their role. Calls for more training, without reflective attention to practice dynamics, risk failing to address systemic problems, portraying them instead as individual failings.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2013 · British Journal of General Practice
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    ABSTRACT: Context:There is little information on the potential impact of serum 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D [1,25(OH)(2)D] on bone health including turnover.Objective:The objective of the study was to determine the influence of 1,25(OH)(2)D and 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] on bone health in middle-aged and older European men.Design, Setting, and Participants:Men aged 40-79 years were recruited from population registers in 8 European centers. Subjects completed questionnaires that included questions concerning lifestyle and were invited to attend for quantitative ultrasound (QUS) of the heel, assessment of height and weight, and a fasting blood sample from which 1,25(OH)(2)D, 25(OH)D, and PTH were measured. 1,25(OH)(2)D was measured using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. Bone markers serum N-terminal propeptide of type 1 procollagen (P1NP) and crosslinks (β-cTX) were also measured. Dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) of the hip and lumbar spine was performed in 2 centers.Main Outcome Measure(s):QUS of the heel, bone markers P1NP and β-cTX, and DXA of the hip and lumbar spine were measured.Results:A total of 2783 men, mean age 60.0 years (SD 11.0) were included in the analysis. After adjustment for age and center, 1,25(OH)(2)D was positively associated with 25(OH)D but not with PTH. 25(OH)D was negatively associated with PTH. After adjustment for age, center, height, weight, lifestyle factors, and season, 1,25(OH)(2)D was associated negatively with QUS and DXA parameters and associated positively with β-cTX. 1,25(OH)(2)D was not correlated with P1NP. 25(OH)D was positively associated with the QUS and DXA parameters but not related to either bone turnover marker. Subjects with both high 1,25(OH)(2)D (upper tertile) and low 25(OH)D (lower tertile) had the lowest QUS and DXA parameters and the highest β-cTX levels.Conclusions:Serum 1,25(OH)(2)D is associated with higher bone turnover and poorer bone health despite being positively related to 25(OH)D. A combination of high 1,25(OH)(2)D and low 25(OH)D is associated with the poorest bone health.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2013 · The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
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