Author Interviews, Global Health, Pediatrics, Primary Care / 12.05.2015 Interview with: Elizabeth Cecil, MSc Department of Primary Care and Public, Health, Imperial College London London, United KingdomMedical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?Response: Unplanned hospital admissions in children have been rising for more than a decade placing strain on health care resources in the UK. Unnecessary hospital admission exposes children to hospital acquired infections and an over invasive approach, and is inconvenient for their families as well as adding to pressures on staff dealing with sicker children.Our team from Imperial College London were interested in assessing the impact of primary care policy reforms on short stay admissions, in England. The reforms were nationally implemented in April 2004 and reduced the availability of primary care physicians for children. Our study, found that reforms coincided with an increase in short-stay admission rates for children with primary care-sensitive chronic conditions and with fewer children’s admissions being referred by a primary care physician.Over the study period from April 2000 to March 2012, we found that more than half of the 7.8 million unplanned hospital admissions for children younger than 15 years were short-stay admissions for potentially avoidable infections and chronic conditions. The primary care policy reforms implemented in April 2004 were associated with an 8 percent increase in short-stay admission rates for chronic conditions, equivalent to 8,500 additional admissions, above the 3 percent annual increasing trend. Notably, the policy reforms were not associated with an increase in short-stay admission rates for infectious illness. (more…)