Dr Ashra Khanom awarded Health and Care Research Wales fellowship 

Dr Ashra Khanom is a Health Services Researcher who works for PRIME Centre Wales (Wales Centre for Primary and Emergency Care Research) in the area of pre-hospital and emergency care research. 

We are delighted to announce that she has recently been successful in securing a Health and Care Research Wales Health Fellowship Award, which will allow her to conduct important research in pre-hospital care. Dr Khanom who is based at Swansea University Medical School is looking forward to starting the fellowship in October 2018 and it will last for three years. 

Risk of mortality and other adverse events is high in people who make frequent 999 calls tothe ambulance service. This group of patients present an operational challenge and their needs are inadequately met by current service provision. 

Last year the Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust (WAST) responded to 5,532 calls made by approximately 200 people each month between July and September 2017, costing around£70,000 per month. 

New models of cross-sector care are emerging, but the evidence base related to caller demographics; casemix; patterns of 999 service use; patient and service provider experience; safety and effectiveness of care for this marginalised and vulnerable patient group is lacking. Current care and service innovation often focuses on efficiency (to reduce calls), rather than addressing patient needs. 

The proposed research will help NHS Wales to understand the scale and nature of the problem of frequent calling; why it occurs, patterns of use, outcomes and the experience of callers and service providers. 

Dr Khanom will aim to co-produce guidance with stakeholders (patients and the ambulance service) based on previously published evidence, new epidemiological information and including the views and experience of patients and service providers. 

Potentially, the guidance can help to reduce frequent calling (benefit for WAST); improve patient experience and outcomes (benefit for patients); identify opportunities for improvements to health and social care provision more widely (benefit for system). 

Ashra Khanom comments: 

“I am very pleased to have been awarded the Health and Care Research Wales Fellowship award. I am eager to use co-production in the context of this proposed study, working with people who call 999 frequently to develop care guidance that meets their needs and those of service providers. 

“I have always had a keen personal and professional interest in improving access to health and social care for vulnerable and marginalised groups. This award will allow me to follow my passion and also enable me to build on my leadership skills and to combine this knowledge with new methods in the field of linked health data, a vital research resource which is set to become even more prominent in the future”.