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Getting Research into Practice

Oxford is the lead Region for linking R&D with purchasing. Research results in the production of propositions supported by evidence - knowledge. This may initially be in the form of individual trials, and later by trials built into overviews or systematic reviews of evidence. A number of such overviews are available, some from the Cochrane Centre, the King's Fund or the University of York.

The knowledge produced by trials, overviews or technology assessment can be regarded as "bullets" of effectiveness. Just like a bullet, they are of little value by themselves, and need to be loaded, aimed and fired to hit their target.

In healthcare effectiveness, the gun which does this is the GRiP programme being pioneered in the Oxford Region. The targets vary, and may be public education, professional education and training, information for managers or purchasing specification, including a specification for audit action.

The four GRiP projects underway in the Oxford Region are:-

In the first year each county will undertake a specific, contracted study with audit. In the second year the other three topics will be introduced using the lessons learned from individual counties in the first year. Bandolier will review the GRiP projects, beginning with glue ear this month.

There are different types of bullets available to be fired. Bullets may be "golden" - an example would be the first antibiotic. How good the bullet is depends on how much and of what quality is the evidence for effectiveness - this is not always straightforward. "Silver" and "bronze" bullets will have less solid effectiveness value, but will still need evaluating.

There are questions about how many bullets there are to be fired. The search for bullets is on, and readers of Bandolier are invited to send in bullets of their own. A bullet can be about:-

A bullet is a proposition supported by evidence:-
For a bullet to be fired, it must:-

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