The Somerset Liver Improvement Project was initiated by Dr Tim Jobson (the doctor responsible for the project overall (‘Chief Investigator’)). Dr Jobson works for Somerset NHS Foundation Trust (SFT) and also works for the company that was set up to manage the project. The purpose of the project is to improve the care of patients with liver disease. A key aim was to improve the care of patients with ‘chronic’ (by which we mean long-term) liver disease. It is well known that many patients with chronic liver disease get diagnosed late and therefore miss out on treatment.
Whilst treating patients presenting with liver disease, Dr Jobson and his clinical colleagues noticed that many of these patients had already had blood tests (either with their GP or in hospital) which indicated a need to investigate further for a liver problem. However, these blood tests were not linked together in the right way, or they were not seen by the right people. It is often combinations of blood tests from different clinics or spread out over time that really show an indication of a liver problem.
We therefore set out to design a computer system that would help doctors diagnose liver problems by linking test results together and flagging up patients who are at risk. To enable us to do this, our computer system needs to look at very large numbers of blood tests belonging to a wide range of different people to find those most at risk. This is part of the work we do within the project, working closely with GPs and other doctors who work with us in the hospitals across Somerset.
Predictive Health Intelligence manages all the technical aspects of this project but has no direct access to data. This type of data is under the control of SFT and is processed by approved subcontractors. Secure processing of data is carried out by highly experienced specialists and is regulated under strict confidentiality and information security contractual arrangements.
There are two phases to this project:
To view a video explaining about why Predictive Health Intelligence was set up click here.
Predictive Health Intelligence Ltd: This is the company that was set up to manage the project and design the computer system. The company is owned by Somerset NHS FT, Sirius Partners Limited (Director Neil Stevens) and Jobson Medical Services Limited (Director Tim Jobson).
National Institute for Healthcare Research (NIHR) (who funded this project): The NIHR was established in 2006 to “create a health research system in which the NHS supports outstanding individuals, working in world-class facilities, conducting leading-edge research focused on the needs of patients and the public”.
Since that time, the NIHR have transformed research and innovation in and for the NHS and helped to shape the health and social care research and innovation landscape more broadly. This project is funded by the NIHR as part of the ‘Invention for Innovation’ programme.
The NIHR is funded by the Department of Health and Social Care and works in partnership with the NHS, universities, local government, other research funders, patients and the public. They fund, enable and deliver world-leading health and social care research that improves people’s health and wellbeing and promotes economic growth.
Dr Tim Jobson is the Chief Investigator and is responsible for ensuring that all the correct approvals are in place. The following people / teams have been involved in authorising or approving this project:
Throughout the set-up of this project, we have been open and transparent about all aspects and have sought approval and advice from as many people as possible.