The system has been developed by researchers from the University's Division of Primary Care in collaboration with Health Protection Agency surveillance experts, GPs and EMIS, the computer system used in 60 per cent of general practices in the UK.
Delegates attending the final day of the Health Protection Agency's annual conference will hear that QFLU is among developments the agency has made in improving the UK's preparedness for a future flu pandemic.
Information from the system, including the number of patients suffering from respiratory infections such as pneumonia and the number of people given antivirals, will be crucial in identifying areas of the country which may be seeing a high number of pandemic flu outbreaks and where the NHS may need to concentrate its efforts. In addition, it will be an 'early warning' system — identifying areas which start to see outbreaks in the early phases of the pandemic and will help health officials monitor its spread and inform vaccine distribution and wider health policy decisions.
University of Nottingham Professor Julia Hippisley-Cox, co-founder of QFLU, said: “Pandemic flu is not an easy thing to prepare for. We are very grateful to the GPs who have signed up to provide this vital data, and we would invite others to join them.
“The information will help individual practices and Primary Care Trusts to plan resources for their patients, as well as helping the Government to plan on a national scale.”
The QFLU is the largest surveillance scheme of its kind in Europe. Its network incorporates nearly 3,000 GP practices across the UK covering more than 17 million people and the practices contribute daily aggregated data on clinical diagnoses and prescribing to a centralised database throughout the year.
Dr David Stables, co-founder of QFLU and Clinical Director of EMIS, said: “The QFLU project confirms that information collected by busy GPs during a normal working day is of huge value to the healthcare of the nation. The information has been submitted by thousands of doctors acting entirely altruistically. EMIS is delighted to be able to help with this, and we look forward to enabling other projects commissioned by the HPA that meet real national health needs.”
Dr Gillian Smith, who led on the project for the Health Protection Agency, said: “Our current system reports data on a weekly basis which would be too late in the event of a pandemic flu. QFLU has been developed to be quick, efficient and easy to use by those who will be at the frontline.
“The system proved itself as a valuable resource last year following the Buncefield Fuel Depot fire. As there were questions as to whether there was a threat to the health of those living nearby we monitored if there were any increases in respiratory illness, such as coughs or chest infections, in people living near the fire. After analysing the data we were able to conclude that there wasn't an increase in respiratory illnesses caused by the incident.”
Emma Thorne | alfa
A novel hybrid UAV that may change the way people operate drones
28.03.2017 | Science China Press
Timing a space laser with a NASA-style stopwatch
28.03.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.
To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
29.03.2017 | Materials Sciences
29.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
29.03.2017 | Earth Sciences