Transmissible disease epidemiology & statistical science in public health, criminal justice & performance monitoring

Lead Research Organisation: MRC Biostatistics Unit

Abstract

Statistical science can solve problems posed by transmissible diseases. Can you name whom you met 2 days ago? Your answer could save lives in pandemic flu. The human form of mad cow disease is vCJD. It threatens our blood supply and operating theatres because there is no blood test and imperfect decontamination of surgical instruments. Yet, we need to estimate how many of us, by age-group, are carriers of vCJD. And what the risk is to others of operations on us. Autopsy studies hold important answers, but require public trust. Sexual transmission of HIV disease is a concern. Some infectors have been put in prison for reckless sexual transmission of HIV. Many more do so with impunity. Criminalisation has not solved HIVs sexual transmission. Better public health science, using molecular techniques and contacting partners of those recently HIV infected, can. Nine out of 10 people infected with hepatitis C have injected drugs, most have been in prison, and some drink heavily, which hastens cirrhosis. Criminal settings are a good location for testing interventions to improve the health of marginalised communities. We use record linkage to study transitions, some fatal, between health and criminal settings. Naive targets delay proper research on how to reduce re-offending and drugs-related deaths, and divert resources if institutions are wrongly judged as non-compliant.

Technical Summary

Statistical science is about well-designed data capture and disciplined study protocols as well as analytical techniques. We apply, and develop, statistical science at the interface of public health and other jurisdictions. In particular, we focus on transmissible diseases which transit other jurisdictions (BSE and vCJD, HIV and Hepatitis C, pandemic flu, and injecting drug use), on ethical database linkages, and cost-efficient formal designs (including randomisation) to test model assumptions and find out whether criminal justice or public health interventions work. Naively set targets often conceal a lack of basic understanding of how to improve performance. They delay research, and waste or divert resources, especially if institutional compliance is statistically mis-judged. Because the criminal justice system is enriched for clients who have a multiplicity of health problems, such as addictions, mental health and blood-borne viruses, criminal justice settings are a cost-efficient location for trialling and implementing interventions that ameliorate the (public) health of often marginalised communities. We work in 6 main areas, as follows: UK surveillance of secondary vCJD, including provision for autopsy surveillance, and database linkage studies to elucidate operative risks. Epidemiological mapping of avian flu and human H5NI outbreaks, together with design for, and trialling of, data acquisition (daily matrix of personal meetings), programs and analysis to test feasible social distancing strategies for limiting human flu. Efficient recall by diagnosed flu cases of their recent past contacts is needed if we are to estimate transmission rates robustly. Statistical exploitation of Scotlands key data-sources on heterosexually transmitted and drug-resistant HIV is also of interest. Testing, monitoring, and updating of our published projections on late liver sequelae of Scotlands injector-related Hepatitis C epidemic, with particular attention to debiased estimation of prognostic influences (notably: heavy alcohol consumption), and their prevalence. Database linkage designs to quantify demographic influences on drugs-related mortality; 12-week risk of suicide by recently-released prisoners; and quantification of transition rates (and time-dependent influences thereon) between healthcare settings, drug treatment and prison. Designs for evaluating criminal justice or public health interventions in criminal justice settings, with specific attention to performance monitoring, value-for-money, and cost-effectiveness.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description Adhoc TSE/BSE subgroup of the European Scientific European Unions Scientific Steering Committee
Geographic Reach Asia 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guidance committee
Impact Cessation of UK's over 30 months scheme for cattle. UK's surveillance in appendices for subclinical carriage of vCJD was published in autumn 2013 and showed higher subclinical carriage-rate for older birth-cohort and for males, which was anticpated by Cooper & Bird in their estimation of UK's dietary exposure to BSE by gender and birth-cohort.
 
Description Chair of the RSS Working Party on Performance Monitoring in the Public Services
Geographic Reach Asia 
Policy Influence Type Participation in advisory committee
Impact Chair of the RSS working party on performance monitoring in the Public Services; Follow-up by Statistics Commission, greater use of confidence intervals and funnel plots, and recognition that setting targets is not the same as knowing 'what works' in how to achieve targets. Risk-assessed + randomly-selected inspection regimes by Healthcare Commission and others as per recommendations in RSS Working Party report.
 
Description Contribution to Office for National Statistics report on 'Deaths related to drug poisoning in England and Wales, 2014 registrations'
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Gave evidence to a government review
URL http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/subnational-health3/deaths-related-to-drug-poisoning/england-and-wales...
 
Description Crime Statistics Review Board of the UK Statistics Authority
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in advisory committee
 
Description DEFRA (Department of Environmental Food and Rural Affairs)
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
 
Description DEFRA Science Advisory Council
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guideline committee
 
Description Home Office statistical reporting standards in press releases
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in advisory committee
Impact Survey, Design and Statistics Subcommittee (chaired by S M Bird) of Home Office's Scientific Advisory Committee published a statistical critique of 203 Home Office press releases from February to September 2008+2009, which led the Home Office to issue guidance for policy colleagues on statistical reporting in press releases. The new guidance was agreed between Home Office's Press Office, Head of Statistics and Chief Scientific Adviser -now implemented by Home Office.
 
Description How long to retain DNA profile from the innocent or those not proceeded against
Geographic Reach Asia 
Policy Influence Type Participation in advisory committee
Impact Change in England's recommendations for how long to retain DNA profile from individuals who are innocent or not proceeded against. See analysis on Straight Statistics and aired on radio on 'More or Less' programme. Eventually, England and Wales met the requirements of the European Court on Human Rights re non-retention of DNA samples of those never convicted.
 
Description Invited consultee at Academy of Medical Sciences Meeting on Health of the Public in 2040
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
 
Description Invited to serve on Committee for Strategic Advisory Board for Scotland's Rural and Environment Science & Analytical Services (RESAS)
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
 
Description Member of RSS working party on statistical issues in first in man studies
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guidance committee
Impact Duff Committee included in its recommendations statistical issues that RSS working party highlighted to it. MRC ensured statistical appraisal of applications to its call on Experimental Medicine; Annual pooling of information on design and outcome of 1st in man studies approved by EU regulatory authorities has NOT yet occurred.
 
Description Member of the Appraisal Committee for NICE (1999-2005)
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in advisory committee
Impact Member of the Appraisal Committee for NICE (1999-2005) and co-instigated NICE's meta-analytic study on the efficacy of Alzheimer drugs so that its decisions on cost-effectiveness would be on a sounder footing
 
Description Ministry of Justice evaluations of reduced recidivism
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in advisory committee
Impact improved design of how Social Impact Bond evaluation will proceed at HMP Peterborough and the analysis of how well HMP Doncaster is meeting before/after targets for reduction in recidivism. Influenced how future targets will be designed.
 
Description Pandemic influenza preparedness programme: a report for the Chief Medical Officer
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Gave evidence to a government review
 
Description Report for Home Office on 21st Century Drugs and Statistical Science
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in advisory committee
Impact Contributed to MRCs strategic call on addictions and to Home Office's cross departmental co-ordination of research to inform drugs policy. 2010: Drug Data Warehouse - a recommendation of the above report - has been set up and SMB is a member of the DDW project advisory board. Publication submitted which quantifies initiations into injecting drug use by addition of new questions -as recommended in 21st Century Drugs and Statistical Science- to Scotland's Needle Exchange Surveillance of Injectors: White SR, Taylor A, Allen E, Hutchinson SJ, BIRD SM. Injectors' initiation of others: who initiates, how often and shared responsibility. Addiction 2011.
 
Description Report of the Lord Cullen's Review of Fatal Accident Inquiry Legislation, an independent review
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Citation in other policy documents
Impact Recommendations made by SMB in peer-reviewed paper on Fatal Accident Inquiries into prisoner deaths in Scotland which was published by Howard Journal in 2008 have been incorporated into the Lord Cullens report which also references the paper. Recommendations included the collection of statistics on waiting times for FAIs to report
 
Description Scientific Pandemic Influenza (SPI) Advisory Committee
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in advisory committee
Impact SPI was in abeyance during swine flu and there was no statistician member on the Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies (SAGE). RSS wrote to chief medical officer about statistical reporting standards and epidemic monitoring during the swine flu on which CMO took action (e.g. HPA began to report incident hospitalization for swine flu, and the set up of CMO's Statistical Legacy Group) CMO, of which S M Birsd is a member, will report in November 2010. S M Bird also gave evidence on behalf of the RSS to Science and Technology Committee inquiry into scientific advice and evidence in emergencies.
 
Description Scotland's National Naloxone Advisory Group
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
Impact Adoption of the monitoring statistics recommended by S M Bird for measuring the impact of Scotland's public health policy on take-home naloxone. In addition new results on the high drugs-related deaths rate in the 4 weeks after discharge from hospital of drug-treatment clients prompted Scotland's Chief Medical Officer to write to hospital doctors about whether take-home naloxone should be prescribed for opiate-dependents clients on discharge from hospital. 3-year outcomes from Scotland were reported as official statisrics in 28 October 2014 and show 36% reduction in % of opioid-related deaths with a 4-week ante4cedent of prison-release (down from 193/1970 (9.8%) in 2006-10 to 76/1212 (6.3%) in 2011-2013; and 22% reduction in secondary outcome (down from 19% to 14.9%), both highly statisrtically significant. See Strang J, Bird SM, Dietz P, Gerra G, McLellan AT. Take-home emergency naloxone to prevent deaths from heroin overdose. British Medical Journal 2014; 349: g6580. Two subsequent publications by Bird et al and by McAulay et al. See publications list.
 
Description Statistical Expert panel for UK#s Infected Blood Inquiry
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
Impact Appointed to serve on Statistical Expert panel for UK#s Infected Blood Inquiry
 
Description Surveillance for subclinical vCJD
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Gave evidence to a government review
Impact House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee recommended major improvements in how persons caught up in at-risk vCJD networks are informed about their risk and asked to give permission in life for vCJD-informative testing in the event of their death. Better use to be made of scarce resources at NIBSC for evaluation of potential blood tests for vCJD. Research funding to be made available for blood-based surveillance if suitable prototype test is available (which it is).
URL http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201415/cmselect/cmsctech/327/32702.htm
 
Description Alborada
Amount £3,000 (GBP)
Organisation Alborada Trust 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2018 
End 07/2018
 
Description MRC Addictions Cluster grant
Amount £600,000 (GBP)
Funding ID G1000021 
Organisation Medical Research Council (MRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start  
 
Description MRC Strategic grant
Amount £181,000 (GBP)
Funding ID MR/J013560/1 
Organisation Medical Research Council (MRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start  
 
Description MRC Trial grant
Amount £1,000,000 (GBP)
Funding ID G0800012 
Organisation Medical Research Council (MRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 08/2008 
End 08/2014
 
Title Linkage of Scottish Drug Misuse Database (SDMD) cohort to hospitalizations, HCV diagnosis & deaths 
Description Probabilistic, no-names linkage of Scottish Drug Misuse Database (SDMD) cohort to hospitalizations, HCV diagnosis & deaths to investigate rates of and risks factors for cause specific morbidity and mortality in national cohort of nearly 70000 drug users who accessed drug treatment or services in 1996-2006. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of Data/Biological Samples 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Publications due in 2010-2011. ADD PUBS LISTED AS SDMD!!! 
 
Title Serial alpha-fetoprotein levels for patients undergoing surveillance for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) 
Description Using serial log AFP, Bayesian hierarchical linear model to identify patients at higher risk of HCC - with validation by case-controls study. Publication pending - 1st author is Dr Tom G. Bird with BSU team including Dr Rebecca Turner, Dr David Lunn and Professor Sheila M. Bird. 
Type Of Material Computer model/algorithm 
Year Produced 2013 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Potential impact on guidelines for HCC surveillance particularly in patients whose aetiology is Hepatitis C virus 
 
Title Serial methadone doses in Scotland by gender and age-group linked across prescription episodes and to mortality 
Description Record-linkage with required privacy access approval in Scotland - this took a year to obtain . . . 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Provided annual upper bound for the number of methadone clients in Scotland - the first time this has been available. Evidenced lower quantity of methadone prescribed for females and age-differentiation in quantity of methadone prescribed. Publication pending. 
 
Description 3-year outcomes from Scotland's national naloxone programme 
Organisation Government of Scotland
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Study design and subsequent drafting of report for peer-review publication. See publications list
Collaborator Contribution Monitoring of the impact of national naloxone programme and design of the Patient Group Directive used therein. 1 published paper, another accepted.
Impact See publications list for Bird et al in Addiction. - Bird SM. McAuley A, Perry S, Hunter C. Effectiveness of Scotland's National Naloxone Programme for reducing opioid-related deaths: a before (2006-2010) versus after (2011-2013) comparison. Addiction 2016; 111: 883-891. (doi: 10.1111/add.13265). And also 5 year follow-up by Bird et al in Lancet (2017). Bird SM, McAuley A, Munro A, Hutchinson SJ, Taylor A. Prison-based prescription of take-home naloxone for persons who inject drugs contributes to the effectiveness of Scotland's National Naloxone Policy, 2011-2015. Lancet 2017: 389: 1005-1006.
Start Year 2014
 
Description AFP screening for hepatocellular carcinoma 
Organisation University of Edinburgh
Department College of Medicine & Veterinary Medicine
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Design and test methodology for statistical diagnostic aid to alert clinician to when extra screening tests may be required to check for early hepatocellular carcinoma; determine performance in new screening cohort; and consider cost-effectiveness
Collaborator Contribution Collaboration with Dr Tom G Bird (Edinburgh) and Drs Lunn and Dimitropoulou in MRC-BSU. Inspiration for statistical approach came from clinical observatrions by TGB, who also collated the Lothian AFP screening data.
Impact Research paper pbulished in Plos Medicine - Bird TG, Dimitropoulou P, Turner RM, Jenks SJ, Cusack P, Hey S, Blunsum A, Kelly S, Sturgeon C, Hayes PC, Bird SM. Alpha-fetoprotein detection of hepatocellular carcinoma leads to a standardized analysis of dynamic AFP to improve screening based detection. PLOS One 2016; http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0156801. Further grant appplications submitted to continue this work using cohorts besides the lothian cohort. The statistical team is now Edinburgh based.
Start Year 2012
 
Description Alcohol related deaths in Scotland 
Organisation Liverpool John Moores University
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Alcohol related deaths in Scotland with Liverpoool John Moore's University and Health Protection Scotland
Collaborator Contribution Intention is to assess zaridze classification of alcohol-related deaths specifically for Scotland's hepatitis C diagnosed individuals
Impact No published outputs.
Start Year 2011
 
Description Alcohol related deaths in Scotland 
Organisation NHS National Services Scotland (NSS)
Department Health Protection Scotland
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Alcohol related deaths in Scotland with Liverpoool John Moore's University and Health Protection Scotland
Collaborator Contribution Intention is to assess zaridze classification of alcohol-related deaths specifically for Scotland's hepatitis C diagnosed individuals
Impact No published outputs.
Start Year 2011
 
Description Bayesian capture-recapture analysis of current injectors in England, 2009 
Organisation Glasgow Caledonian University
Department Public Health and Epidemiology
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We have been developing Bayesian capture-recapture methods to allow for different capture-propensities across English regions and to make comparison between estimates from 2005 (already published) and 2009 (in preparation)
Collaborator Contribution As above - joint development of methods and ideas.
Impact See publications list
Start Year 2011
 
Description Bayesian capture-recapture analysis of current injectors in England, 2009 
Organisation University of St Andrews
Department School of Mathematics and Statistics
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We have been developing Bayesian capture-recapture methods to allow for different capture-propensities across English regions and to make comparison between estimates from 2005 (already published) and 2009 (in preparation)
Collaborator Contribution As above - joint development of methods and ideas.
Impact See publications list
Start Year 2011
 
Description Database linkage (e-health) studies 
Organisation Addenbrooke's Hospital
Department Department of Pharmacy
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Hospitals 
PI Contribution Database linkage (e-health) studies of discharge - summary - prescribing and other risk factors for re-admission to hospital and / or serious adverse events, with Cambridge Health Partners and Addenbrookes Pharmacy
Collaborator Contribution TBA
Impact No outputs, other than to re-direct attention to Scotland's prescribing data
Start Year 2012
 
Description Database linkage (e-health) studies 
Organisation University of Cambridge
Department Cambridge University Health Partners
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Database linkage (e-health) studies of discharge - summary - prescribing and other risk factors for re-admission to hospital and / or serious adverse events, with Cambridge Health Partners and Addenbrookes Pharmacy
Collaborator Contribution TBA
Impact No outputs, other than to re-direct attention to Scotland's prescribing data
Start Year 2012
 
Description Do you know what's good for you? 
Organisation University of Cambridge
Department Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics (DAMTP)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution SM Bird is a member of the project team, but is NOT a grant holder. Publications and podcasts
Collaborator Contribution Intellectual contribution
Impact Publications and podcasts Plus podcast 22, February 2010: Evaluating a medical treatment: ... David Spiegelhalter (Winton Professor of the Public Understanding of Risk), Sheila Bird (Professor at the Medical Research Council Biostatistics Unit), and ... Podcasts - plusadmin - 19 Jul 2010: Do you know what's good for you? ... viruses. Beating bird flu with bills - Travelling bank notes mimic the spread of diseases. ... of the Public Understanding of Risk), Sheila Bird (Professor at the Medical Research Council ... Packages - mf344 - 8 Oct 2010: Do you know what's good for you - what's the best medicine? ... (Winton Professor of the Public Understanding of Risk), Sheila Bird (Professor at the Medical Research Council Biostatistics Unit), and ... Packages - mf344 - 20 Jul 2010: News from the world of maths: The Plus podcast: Evaluating a medical treatment ... (Winton Professor of the Public Understanding of Risk), Sheila Bird (Professor at the Medical Research Council Biostatistics Unit), and ... Blog - plusadmin - 6 Apr 2010: Monitoring the monitors ... Grieve (President of the Royal Statistical Society) and Sheila Bird (Chair of the Performance Indicators Working Group) Let's start ... News - plusadmin - 7 Jul 2010: Biostatistics - From cradle to grave ... body of statistical research. We talk to Professor Sheila Bird of the Biostatistics Unit in Cambridge about her work in public health and ... Podcasts - plusadmin - 13 Jul 2010: News from the world of maths: The Plus podcast: Biostatistics ... body of statistical research. We talk to Professor Sheila Bird of the Biostatistics Unit in Cambridge about her work in public health and ... Podcasts - plusadmin - 5 Sep 2011: Do you know what's good for you - what's the best medicine? Evaluating a medical treatment: The podcast We talk to David Spiegelhalter (Winton Professor of the Public Understanding of Risk), Sheila Bird (Professor at the Medical Research Council Biostatistics Unit), and Nigel Hawkes (journalist and director of Straight Statistics) about why randomised controlled trials are used and how they test if a new treatment works. Podcasts - plusadmin - 9 Sep 2011: Do you know what's good for you? ... viruses. Beating bird flu with bills - Travelling bank notes mimic the spread of diseases. ... of the Public Understanding of Risk), Sheila Bird (Professor at the Medical Research Council ...
Start Year 2009
 
Description Drugs-related death rates by sex, age and region 
Organisation King's College London
Department Addictions Department
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Drugs related death rates by sea, age and region
Collaborator Contribution Recognition of the scientific work of the programme
Impact Articles in Straight Statistics
Start Year 2010
 
Description Drugs-related death rates by sex, age and region 
Organisation University of Edinburgh
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Drugs related death rates by sea, age and region
Collaborator Contribution Recognition of the scientific work of the programme
Impact Articles in Straight Statistics
Start Year 2010
 
Description Drugs-related deaths soon after prison-release: before/after introduction of opiate substitution 
Organisation Information Services Division (ISD)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution SMB propsed the research question and identified the data already held by a CSO-funded study by which the question could be answered; built collaboration with the data-holders; designed analysis plan; and anaylsis was performed according to this plan by CSO-funded colleagues, notably Dr Colin Fischbacher
Collaborator Contribution Obtain CSO funding for a broader study on Scottish prisoners' mortality ; collaborated in obtaining variation in permissions to enable SMB-proposed analyses, analyses run, & joint-paper is in preparation,
Impact See publications list
Start Year 2013
 
Description Hepatitis C with Health Protection Scotland 
Organisation NHS National Services Scotland (NSS)
Department Health Protection Scotland
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Co-grant applicant involved in record-linkage study design and analysis
Collaborator Contribution Record-linkage study to determine the past and current burden of diagnosed hepatitis C in Scotland and the influence of a hepatitis C diagnosis on alcohol-related hospitalisation has been a highly productive collaboration in terms of papers and in quantifying the mortality and morbidity of HCV diagnosed injections drug-users in Scotland.
Impact doi:10.3109/16066350903267520 PMID: 19723361; PMID: 20587118; PMID: 19773667; PMID: 20460092; PMID: 20472416; PMID: 20587118; PMID: 21029257 Paper in abeyance: - Ischaemic heart disease deaths at ages 15-44 years: increased on account of Hepatitis C, heroin addiction, or unmeasured confounders? Journal of Public Health or Scottish Medical Journal.
Start Year 2006
 
Description Insights on the natural history of problem drug use offending 
Organisation University of Bristol
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Insight on the natural history of problem drug use offending with Manchester University
Collaborator Contribution Part of Niquad addictions cluster work and part of PhD of Matthias Pierce
Impact See publications list
Start Year 2011
 
Description Insights on the natural history of problem drug use offending 
Organisation University of Manchester
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Insight on the natural history of problem drug use offending with Manchester University
Collaborator Contribution Part of Niquad addictions cluster work and part of PhD of Matthias Pierce
Impact See publications list
Start Year 2011
 
Description Insights on the natural history of problem drug use offending 
Organisation University of St Andrews
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Insight on the natural history of problem drug use offending with Manchester University
Collaborator Contribution Part of Niquad addictions cluster work and part of PhD of Matthias Pierce
Impact See publications list
Start Year 2011
 
Description Insights on the natural history of problem drug use offending 
Organisation University of Strathclyde
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Insight on the natural history of problem drug use offending with Manchester University
Collaborator Contribution Part of Niquad addictions cluster work and part of PhD of Matthias Pierce
Impact See publications list
Start Year 2011
 
Description Institute of Criminology - University of Cambridge 
Organisation University of Cambridge
Department Institute of Criminology
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Conducted a series of statistical investigation into sentencing decisions in England and Wales
Collaborator Contribution Intellectual contribution and access to sentencing data
Impact A key finding has been the use (by judges and magistrates) of a limited number of sentences which for incarceration were easily calculated multiples of the 30 days up to 180 days and thereafter multiples of 90 days, 180 days or a year, lead unto a viewpoint in the British Medical Journal: doi: 10.1136/bmj.d612 ((Published 2 February 2011) PMID: 20479212; Papers submitted: Sentencing in small doses? Sentence lengths in England and Wales. Journal of Quantitative Criminology 2010.
Start Year 2008
 
Description MPhil in Public Policy 
Organisation University of Cambridge
Department Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution New 8 hour course, now 6 hours following an introductory statistical course for social scientists, on Statistical Thinking for new MPhil on Public Policy
Collaborator Contribution Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS), & Dr Finbarr Livesey in particular as course tutor, devised the MPhil which has 23 students in its first year
Impact To follow
Start Year 2013
 
Description MRC-funded prison-based pilot N-ALIVE Trial 
Organisation King's College London
Department Addictions Department
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Pioneered record-linkage research on drugs related deaths soon after release from prison, proposed the N-ALIVE intervention and fundamentals of N-ALIVE trial design. More recently undertook a record linked study that identified high rate of of drug-related deaths on the first 4 weeks after hospital discharge for drug-treatment in Scotland, 1996-2006. This has implications for possible prescribing of take-home naloxone when such opiate dependent clients are discharged from hospital.
Collaborator Contribution Facilitation.IntellectualIntellectualIntellectual/practical contribution
Impact MRC funding for N-ALIVE pilot trial. See publications list. 3 papers due for submission in 2016
Start Year 2006
 
Description MRC-funded prison-based pilot N-ALIVE Trial 
Organisation Medical Research Council (MRC)
Department MRC Clinical Trials Unit
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Pioneered record-linkage research on drugs related deaths soon after release from prison, proposed the N-ALIVE intervention and fundamentals of N-ALIVE trial design. More recently undertook a record linked study that identified high rate of of drug-related deaths on the first 4 weeks after hospital discharge for drug-treatment in Scotland, 1996-2006. This has implications for possible prescribing of take-home naloxone when such opiate dependent clients are discharged from hospital.
Collaborator Contribution Facilitation.IntellectualIntellectualIntellectual/practical contribution
Impact MRC funding for N-ALIVE pilot trial. See publications list. 3 papers due for submission in 2016
Start Year 2006
 
Description MRC-funded prison-based pilot N-ALIVE Trial 
Organisation Medical Research Council (MRC)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Pioneered record-linkage research on drugs related deaths soon after release from prison, proposed the N-ALIVE intervention and fundamentals of N-ALIVE trial design. More recently undertook a record linked study that identified high rate of of drug-related deaths on the first 4 weeks after hospital discharge for drug-treatment in Scotland, 1996-2006. This has implications for possible prescribing of take-home naloxone when such opiate dependent clients are discharged from hospital.
Collaborator Contribution Facilitation.IntellectualIntellectualIntellectual/practical contribution
Impact MRC funding for N-ALIVE pilot trial. See publications list. 3 papers due for submission in 2016
Start Year 2006
 
Description MRC-funded prison-based pilot N-ALIVE Trial 
Organisation Ministry of Justice
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Pioneered record-linkage research on drugs related deaths soon after release from prison, proposed the N-ALIVE intervention and fundamentals of N-ALIVE trial design. More recently undertook a record linked study that identified high rate of of drug-related deaths on the first 4 weeks after hospital discharge for drug-treatment in Scotland, 1996-2006. This has implications for possible prescribing of take-home naloxone when such opiate dependent clients are discharged from hospital.
Collaborator Contribution Facilitation.IntellectualIntellectualIntellectual/practical contribution
Impact MRC funding for N-ALIVE pilot trial. See publications list. 3 papers due for submission in 2016
Start Year 2006
 
Description Military fatalities in Afghanistan 
Organisation Combat Stress
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Intellectual - bring quantitative methods to bear when comparing military fatality rates in Afghanistan by nationality and cause.
Collaborator Contribution Intellectual contribution and military expertise
Impact Since 1st May 2006, Bird and Fairweather post a 20 week updated analysis of military fatalities in Iraq and Afghanistan on MRC BSU website. 8 postings were summarised in an article in Journal of the Royal United Services Institute 2009 and methodology had been reported in International Journal of Epidemiology in 2007. Several articles on Straight Statistics and also on the MRC Biostatistics Unit website (see http://www.mrc-bsu.cam.ac.uk/Publications/addmaterial.html#Reports) Cited by media including acknowledgement of SMB in recently published book 'Bomb Hunters: In Afghanistan with Britain's Elite Bomb Disposal Unit' (2011) by Sean Rayment (Defence correspondent of The Telegraph)
Start Year 2006
 
Description Morbidity and mortality of drug users with University of Strathclyde 
Organisation University of Strathclyde
Department Department of Mathematics and Statistics
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Contribution to study design and analysis including as PhD supervisor.
Collaborator Contribution A separate suite of record-linkage studies into the morbidity and mortality of drug treatment clients in Scotland, 1996-2006 (the Scottish Drug Misuse Cohort)
Impact doi:10.3109/16066359.2010.490310 Published paper: Over 1200 drugs-related deaths and 190,000 opiate-user-years of follow-up: Relative risks by sex and age group. Addiction Research & Theory 2010 18:2, 194-207. Commentary: missing targets on drugs-related deaths, and a Scottish paradox. International Journal of Drug Policy 2010; 21: 155 - 159. Papers in preparation: - Projections of Scottish injectors' drug-related deaths to 2015 under a range of possible scenarios.
Start Year 2008
 
Description NIQUAD 
Organisation Information Services Division (ISD)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Two BSU staff members co-grant holders for NIQUAD whose objective is to enable key public health questions about addiction to be addressed by: - Improving, integrating, and harmonising the information base - Assessing the quality, precision, validity and consistency of available information - Making data accessible to a wider range of expertise - Developing methods to better exploit existing and new information sources This requires parallel work on developing micro (record linkage) and macro (evidence synthesis) integration of available information. The former strand will integrate administrative and research data at the individual case level to create statistically powerful 'virtual' cohorts that track pathways in and out of treatment, criminal justice, and healthcare, sequencing key events. Evidence synthesis will develop models that link all the available evidence to link and test its consistency and to examine the relationships between parameters. NIQUAD includes: key experts in surveillance and substance use epidemiology; non-addiction scientists with high-level skills in relevant statistical, mathematical modelling and health economic techniques; and health informatics experts to support the development of data resources to fuel the planned work.
Collaborator Contribution Intellectual contributionIntellectual contributionIntellectual contributionIntellectual contributionIntellectual contributionIntellectual contributionIntellectual/ Practical contributionIntellectual/ Practical contributionPractical collaborationPractical collaborationIntellectual/ Practical contribution
Impact Several publications in press and in preparation, notably i) on cause-specific mortality of opiate users in England {Pierce M, BIRD SM, Hickman M, Millar T. National record-linkage study of mortality for a large cohort of opiate users ascertained by drug treatment or criminal justice sources, 2005-2009. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 2014: in press.} ii) on impact of treatment modality on drugs-related deaths and of criminal-justice referral into treatment. See publications list
Start Year 2010
 
Description NIQUAD 
Organisation King's College London
Department Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Two BSU staff members co-grant holders for NIQUAD whose objective is to enable key public health questions about addiction to be addressed by: - Improving, integrating, and harmonising the information base - Assessing the quality, precision, validity and consistency of available information - Making data accessible to a wider range of expertise - Developing methods to better exploit existing and new information sources This requires parallel work on developing micro (record linkage) and macro (evidence synthesis) integration of available information. The former strand will integrate administrative and research data at the individual case level to create statistically powerful 'virtual' cohorts that track pathways in and out of treatment, criminal justice, and healthcare, sequencing key events. Evidence synthesis will develop models that link all the available evidence to link and test its consistency and to examine the relationships between parameters. NIQUAD includes: key experts in surveillance and substance use epidemiology; non-addiction scientists with high-level skills in relevant statistical, mathematical modelling and health economic techniques; and health informatics experts to support the development of data resources to fuel the planned work.
Collaborator Contribution Intellectual contributionIntellectual contributionIntellectual contributionIntellectual contributionIntellectual contributionIntellectual contributionIntellectual/ Practical contributionIntellectual/ Practical contributionPractical collaborationPractical collaborationIntellectual/ Practical contribution
Impact Several publications in press and in preparation, notably i) on cause-specific mortality of opiate users in England {Pierce M, BIRD SM, Hickman M, Millar T. National record-linkage study of mortality for a large cohort of opiate users ascertained by drug treatment or criminal justice sources, 2005-2009. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 2014: in press.} ii) on impact of treatment modality on drugs-related deaths and of criminal-justice referral into treatment. See publications list
Start Year 2010
 
Description NIQUAD 
Organisation Ministry of Justice
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Two BSU staff members co-grant holders for NIQUAD whose objective is to enable key public health questions about addiction to be addressed by: - Improving, integrating, and harmonising the information base - Assessing the quality, precision, validity and consistency of available information - Making data accessible to a wider range of expertise - Developing methods to better exploit existing and new information sources This requires parallel work on developing micro (record linkage) and macro (evidence synthesis) integration of available information. The former strand will integrate administrative and research data at the individual case level to create statistically powerful 'virtual' cohorts that track pathways in and out of treatment, criminal justice, and healthcare, sequencing key events. Evidence synthesis will develop models that link all the available evidence to link and test its consistency and to examine the relationships between parameters. NIQUAD includes: key experts in surveillance and substance use epidemiology; non-addiction scientists with high-level skills in relevant statistical, mathematical modelling and health economic techniques; and health informatics experts to support the development of data resources to fuel the planned work.
Collaborator Contribution Intellectual contributionIntellectual contributionIntellectual contributionIntellectual contributionIntellectual contributionIntellectual contributionIntellectual/ Practical contributionIntellectual/ Practical contributionPractical collaborationPractical collaborationIntellectual/ Practical contribution
Impact Several publications in press and in preparation, notably i) on cause-specific mortality of opiate users in England {Pierce M, BIRD SM, Hickman M, Millar T. National record-linkage study of mortality for a large cohort of opiate users ascertained by drug treatment or criminal justice sources, 2005-2009. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 2014: in press.} ii) on impact of treatment modality on drugs-related deaths and of criminal-justice referral into treatment. See publications list
Start Year 2010
 
Description NIQUAD 
Organisation NHS National Services Scotland (NSS)
Department Health Protection Scotland
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Two BSU staff members co-grant holders for NIQUAD whose objective is to enable key public health questions about addiction to be addressed by: - Improving, integrating, and harmonising the information base - Assessing the quality, precision, validity and consistency of available information - Making data accessible to a wider range of expertise - Developing methods to better exploit existing and new information sources This requires parallel work on developing micro (record linkage) and macro (evidence synthesis) integration of available information. The former strand will integrate administrative and research data at the individual case level to create statistically powerful 'virtual' cohorts that track pathways in and out of treatment, criminal justice, and healthcare, sequencing key events. Evidence synthesis will develop models that link all the available evidence to link and test its consistency and to examine the relationships between parameters. NIQUAD includes: key experts in surveillance and substance use epidemiology; non-addiction scientists with high-level skills in relevant statistical, mathematical modelling and health economic techniques; and health informatics experts to support the development of data resources to fuel the planned work.
Collaborator Contribution Intellectual contributionIntellectual contributionIntellectual contributionIntellectual contributionIntellectual contributionIntellectual contributionIntellectual/ Practical contributionIntellectual/ Practical contributionPractical collaborationPractical collaborationIntellectual/ Practical contribution
Impact Several publications in press and in preparation, notably i) on cause-specific mortality of opiate users in England {Pierce M, BIRD SM, Hickman M, Millar T. National record-linkage study of mortality for a large cohort of opiate users ascertained by drug treatment or criminal justice sources, 2005-2009. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 2014: in press.} ii) on impact of treatment modality on drugs-related deaths and of criminal-justice referral into treatment. See publications list
Start Year 2010
 
Description NIQUAD 
Organisation Public Health England
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Two BSU staff members co-grant holders for NIQUAD whose objective is to enable key public health questions about addiction to be addressed by: - Improving, integrating, and harmonising the information base - Assessing the quality, precision, validity and consistency of available information - Making data accessible to a wider range of expertise - Developing methods to better exploit existing and new information sources This requires parallel work on developing micro (record linkage) and macro (evidence synthesis) integration of available information. The former strand will integrate administrative and research data at the individual case level to create statistically powerful 'virtual' cohorts that track pathways in and out of treatment, criminal justice, and healthcare, sequencing key events. Evidence synthesis will develop models that link all the available evidence to link and test its consistency and to examine the relationships between parameters. NIQUAD includes: key experts in surveillance and substance use epidemiology; non-addiction scientists with high-level skills in relevant statistical, mathematical modelling and health economic techniques; and health informatics experts to support the development of data resources to fuel the planned work.
Collaborator Contribution Intellectual contributionIntellectual contributionIntellectual contributionIntellectual contributionIntellectual contributionIntellectual contributionIntellectual/ Practical contributionIntellectual/ Practical contributionPractical collaborationPractical collaborationIntellectual/ Practical contribution
Impact Several publications in press and in preparation, notably i) on cause-specific mortality of opiate users in England {Pierce M, BIRD SM, Hickman M, Millar T. National record-linkage study of mortality for a large cohort of opiate users ascertained by drug treatment or criminal justice sources, 2005-2009. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 2014: in press.} ii) on impact of treatment modality on drugs-related deaths and of criminal-justice referral into treatment. See publications list
Start Year 2010
 
Description NIQUAD 
Organisation University of Bristol
Department School of Social and Community Medicine
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Two BSU staff members co-grant holders for NIQUAD whose objective is to enable key public health questions about addiction to be addressed by: - Improving, integrating, and harmonising the information base - Assessing the quality, precision, validity and consistency of available information - Making data accessible to a wider range of expertise - Developing methods to better exploit existing and new information sources This requires parallel work on developing micro (record linkage) and macro (evidence synthesis) integration of available information. The former strand will integrate administrative and research data at the individual case level to create statistically powerful 'virtual' cohorts that track pathways in and out of treatment, criminal justice, and healthcare, sequencing key events. Evidence synthesis will develop models that link all the available evidence to link and test its consistency and to examine the relationships between parameters. NIQUAD includes: key experts in surveillance and substance use epidemiology; non-addiction scientists with high-level skills in relevant statistical, mathematical modelling and health economic techniques; and health informatics experts to support the development of data resources to fuel the planned work.
Collaborator Contribution Intellectual contributionIntellectual contributionIntellectual contributionIntellectual contributionIntellectual contributionIntellectual contributionIntellectual/ Practical contributionIntellectual/ Practical contributionPractical collaborationPractical collaborationIntellectual/ Practical contribution
Impact Several publications in press and in preparation, notably i) on cause-specific mortality of opiate users in England {Pierce M, BIRD SM, Hickman M, Millar T. National record-linkage study of mortality for a large cohort of opiate users ascertained by drug treatment or criminal justice sources, 2005-2009. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 2014: in press.} ii) on impact of treatment modality on drugs-related deaths and of criminal-justice referral into treatment. See publications list
Start Year 2010
 
Description NIQUAD 
Organisation University of Glasgow
Department School of Social and Political Sciences Glasgow
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Two BSU staff members co-grant holders for NIQUAD whose objective is to enable key public health questions about addiction to be addressed by: - Improving, integrating, and harmonising the information base - Assessing the quality, precision, validity and consistency of available information - Making data accessible to a wider range of expertise - Developing methods to better exploit existing and new information sources This requires parallel work on developing micro (record linkage) and macro (evidence synthesis) integration of available information. The former strand will integrate administrative and research data at the individual case level to create statistically powerful 'virtual' cohorts that track pathways in and out of treatment, criminal justice, and healthcare, sequencing key events. Evidence synthesis will develop models that link all the available evidence to link and test its consistency and to examine the relationships between parameters. NIQUAD includes: key experts in surveillance and substance use epidemiology; non-addiction scientists with high-level skills in relevant statistical, mathematical modelling and health economic techniques; and health informatics experts to support the development of data resources to fuel the planned work.
Collaborator Contribution Intellectual contributionIntellectual contributionIntellectual contributionIntellectual contributionIntellectual contributionIntellectual contributionIntellectual/ Practical contributionIntellectual/ Practical contributionPractical collaborationPractical collaborationIntellectual/ Practical contribution
Impact Several publications in press and in preparation, notably i) on cause-specific mortality of opiate users in England {Pierce M, BIRD SM, Hickman M, Millar T. National record-linkage study of mortality for a large cohort of opiate users ascertained by drug treatment or criminal justice sources, 2005-2009. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 2014: in press.} ii) on impact of treatment modality on drugs-related deaths and of criminal-justice referral into treatment. See publications list
Start Year 2010
 
Description NIQUAD 
Organisation University of Manchester
Department Community-Based Medicine
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Two BSU staff members co-grant holders for NIQUAD whose objective is to enable key public health questions about addiction to be addressed by: - Improving, integrating, and harmonising the information base - Assessing the quality, precision, validity and consistency of available information - Making data accessible to a wider range of expertise - Developing methods to better exploit existing and new information sources This requires parallel work on developing micro (record linkage) and macro (evidence synthesis) integration of available information. The former strand will integrate administrative and research data at the individual case level to create statistically powerful 'virtual' cohorts that track pathways in and out of treatment, criminal justice, and healthcare, sequencing key events. Evidence synthesis will develop models that link all the available evidence to link and test its consistency and to examine the relationships between parameters. NIQUAD includes: key experts in surveillance and substance use epidemiology; non-addiction scientists with high-level skills in relevant statistical, mathematical modelling and health economic techniques; and health informatics experts to support the development of data resources to fuel the planned work.
Collaborator Contribution Intellectual contributionIntellectual contributionIntellectual contributionIntellectual contributionIntellectual contributionIntellectual contributionIntellectual/ Practical contributionIntellectual/ Practical contributionPractical collaborationPractical collaborationIntellectual/ Practical contribution
Impact Several publications in press and in preparation, notably i) on cause-specific mortality of opiate users in England {Pierce M, BIRD SM, Hickman M, Millar T. National record-linkage study of mortality for a large cohort of opiate users ascertained by drug treatment or criminal justice sources, 2005-2009. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 2014: in press.} ii) on impact of treatment modality on drugs-related deaths and of criminal-justice referral into treatment. See publications list
Start Year 2010
 
Description NIQUAD 
Organisation University of St Andrews
Department School of Mathematics and Statistics
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Two BSU staff members co-grant holders for NIQUAD whose objective is to enable key public health questions about addiction to be addressed by: - Improving, integrating, and harmonising the information base - Assessing the quality, precision, validity and consistency of available information - Making data accessible to a wider range of expertise - Developing methods to better exploit existing and new information sources This requires parallel work on developing micro (record linkage) and macro (evidence synthesis) integration of available information. The former strand will integrate administrative and research data at the individual case level to create statistically powerful 'virtual' cohorts that track pathways in and out of treatment, criminal justice, and healthcare, sequencing key events. Evidence synthesis will develop models that link all the available evidence to link and test its consistency and to examine the relationships between parameters. NIQUAD includes: key experts in surveillance and substance use epidemiology; non-addiction scientists with high-level skills in relevant statistical, mathematical modelling and health economic techniques; and health informatics experts to support the development of data resources to fuel the planned work.
Collaborator Contribution Intellectual contributionIntellectual contributionIntellectual contributionIntellectual contributionIntellectual contributionIntellectual contributionIntellectual/ Practical contributionIntellectual/ Practical contributionPractical collaborationPractical collaborationIntellectual/ Practical contribution
Impact Several publications in press and in preparation, notably i) on cause-specific mortality of opiate users in England {Pierce M, BIRD SM, Hickman M, Millar T. National record-linkage study of mortality for a large cohort of opiate users ascertained by drug treatment or criminal justice sources, 2005-2009. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 2014: in press.} ii) on impact of treatment modality on drugs-related deaths and of criminal-justice referral into treatment. See publications list
Start Year 2010
 
Description NIQUAD 
Organisation University of Strathclyde
Department Department of Mathematics and Statistics
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Two BSU staff members co-grant holders for NIQUAD whose objective is to enable key public health questions about addiction to be addressed by: - Improving, integrating, and harmonising the information base - Assessing the quality, precision, validity and consistency of available information - Making data accessible to a wider range of expertise - Developing methods to better exploit existing and new information sources This requires parallel work on developing micro (record linkage) and macro (evidence synthesis) integration of available information. The former strand will integrate administrative and research data at the individual case level to create statistically powerful 'virtual' cohorts that track pathways in and out of treatment, criminal justice, and healthcare, sequencing key events. Evidence synthesis will develop models that link all the available evidence to link and test its consistency and to examine the relationships between parameters. NIQUAD includes: key experts in surveillance and substance use epidemiology; non-addiction scientists with high-level skills in relevant statistical, mathematical modelling and health economic techniques; and health informatics experts to support the development of data resources to fuel the planned work.
Collaborator Contribution Intellectual contributionIntellectual contributionIntellectual contributionIntellectual contributionIntellectual contributionIntellectual contributionIntellectual/ Practical contributionIntellectual/ Practical contributionPractical collaborationPractical collaborationIntellectual/ Practical contribution
Impact Several publications in press and in preparation, notably i) on cause-specific mortality of opiate users in England {Pierce M, BIRD SM, Hickman M, Millar T. National record-linkage study of mortality for a large cohort of opiate users ascertained by drug treatment or criminal justice sources, 2005-2009. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 2014: in press.} ii) on impact of treatment modality on drugs-related deaths and of criminal-justice referral into treatment. See publications list
Start Year 2010
 
Description NIQUAD 
Organisation University of York
Department Department of Health Sciences
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Two BSU staff members co-grant holders for NIQUAD whose objective is to enable key public health questions about addiction to be addressed by: - Improving, integrating, and harmonising the information base - Assessing the quality, precision, validity and consistency of available information - Making data accessible to a wider range of expertise - Developing methods to better exploit existing and new information sources This requires parallel work on developing micro (record linkage) and macro (evidence synthesis) integration of available information. The former strand will integrate administrative and research data at the individual case level to create statistically powerful 'virtual' cohorts that track pathways in and out of treatment, criminal justice, and healthcare, sequencing key events. Evidence synthesis will develop models that link all the available evidence to link and test its consistency and to examine the relationships between parameters. NIQUAD includes: key experts in surveillance and substance use epidemiology; non-addiction scientists with high-level skills in relevant statistical, mathematical modelling and health economic techniques; and health informatics experts to support the development of data resources to fuel the planned work.
Collaborator Contribution Intellectual contributionIntellectual contributionIntellectual contributionIntellectual contributionIntellectual contributionIntellectual contributionIntellectual/ Practical contributionIntellectual/ Practical contributionPractical collaborationPractical collaborationIntellectual/ Practical contribution
Impact Several publications in press and in preparation, notably i) on cause-specific mortality of opiate users in England {Pierce M, BIRD SM, Hickman M, Millar T. National record-linkage study of mortality for a large cohort of opiate users ascertained by drug treatment or criminal justice sources, 2005-2009. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 2014: in press.} ii) on impact of treatment modality on drugs-related deaths and of criminal-justice referral into treatment. See publications list
Start Year 2010
 
Description Scotland's injector incidence on the basis of NESI surveillance 
Organisation NHS National Services Scotland (NSS)
Department Health Protection Scotland
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Scotland's injector incidence on the basis of NESI surveillance with the University of West Scotland and the Health Protection Scotland
Collaborator Contribution Statistical research method led by Dr Simon White
Impact See publications list
Start Year 2010
 
Description Scotland's injector incidence on the basis of NESI surveillance 
Organisation University of the West of Scotland
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Scotland's injector incidence on the basis of NESI surveillance with the University of West Scotland and the Health Protection Scotland
Collaborator Contribution Statistical research method led by Dr Simon White
Impact See publications list
Start Year 2010
 
Description Scotland's methadone prescription cohort (2009 - 2015) 
Organisation University of Cambridge
Department MRC Biostatistics Unit
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Record linkage study design and ongoing analysis of opiod specific drug deaths and of non-drugs related deaths by quantity of prescribed methadone and age group.
Collaborator Contribution Prof Roy Robertson (Uni of Edinburgh) contributes clinical expertise in the care of methadone clients and chairs Scotland's national forum on drugs-related deaths. Lu Gao (MRC BSU) contributes data management expertise and statistical analysis.
Impact Papers in preparation.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Scotland's methadone prescription cohort (2009 - 2015) 
Organisation University of Edinburgh
Department College of Medicine & Veterinary Medicine
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Record linkage study design and ongoing analysis of opiod specific drug deaths and of non-drugs related deaths by quantity of prescribed methadone and age group.
Collaborator Contribution Prof Roy Robertson (Uni of Edinburgh) contributes clinical expertise in the care of methadone clients and chairs Scotland's national forum on drugs-related deaths. Lu Gao (MRC BSU) contributes data management expertise and statistical analysis.
Impact Papers in preparation.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Straight Statistics 
Organisation Straight Statistics
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Bird S M and Spiegelhalter D J are NOT grant holders but members of the Board of directors and contributors of published statistical notes to Straight Statistics. Co-working with member of British Parliament on statistical methods the results of which are then published on Straight Statistics.
Collaborator Contribution Intellectual contribution as grant holderIntellectual and practical contribution
Impact Around 100 statistical notes on Straight Statistics authored or co-authored by Bird S M.
Start Year 2009
 
Description Study of non-fatal overdoses in Wales 
Organisation University of South Wales
Department Centre for Criminology
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Statistical consultancy on design and analysis of study to quantify non fatal overdoses rate in Welsh injection drug users
Collaborator Contribution Intellectual collaboration
Impact See publications list
Start Year 2011
 
Description THRIVE PhD supervision on pharmacovigilance and antibiotic prescribing in Uganda with Ronald Kibuga 
Organisation Makerere University College of Health Sciences
Country Uganda 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution PhD supervision and co-writing of papers for submission to peer-review journals (one accepted, one submitted, one in preparation) with eventual follow-up via National Pharmacovigilance Centre (NPC) in Uganda to improve their analysis routines and with mulago Hospital to put in place in random months prospective surveillance, reporting & analysis of adverse drug reactions. Visit to Uganda's NPC to be co-ordinated with Cambridge univiersity's pro vice-chancellor for stRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS. This work was showcased at the university's first Cambridge-Africa day,
Collaborator Contribution Ronald Kiguba wrote THRIVE application and together we finalized the design and analysis routines for Studies 1 and; 2. Ronald's local PhD supervisors will assist in implementing the study-designs prospectively at Mulago Hospital.
Impact 7 published papers, 6 with SMB as co-author. Dr Ronald Kiguba defended his PhD thesis successfully in March 2016 at Makerere University.
Start Year 2011
 
Description Time to move to presumed consent for organ donation with Manchester University 
Organisation University of Manchester
Department Faculty of Life Sciences
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Quantifying the lightly increase in cadaveric solid organs if refusal date decreased from 40% to 30% - as it was in 1990 when SMB conducted confidential audit of all deaths in intensive care units - and if UK adopted presumed consent.
Collaborator Contribution Joint paper published by British Medical Journal (2010): Bird SM, and Harris J (2010) Time to move to presumed consent for organ donation BMJ 340: c2188. As a follow up (October 2010) the Centre for Study of Incentives in Health organised a debate 'Paying for blood and organs is not so bad' at the Wellcome Trust. With prof. Heather Widows, Sheila Bird debating against the motion, which was proposed by Dr Evan Harris & prof Martin Wilkinson. The report 'Human bodies: donation for medicine and research' by the Nuffield Council on Bioethics quoted the above paper as reference 620.
Impact Published paper: PMID: 20442244 Several articles published in Straight Statistics (http://www.straightstatistics.org/)
Start Year 2009
 
Description Uganda's pharmacovigilance centre - illustrations of pharmacovigilant analyses on 1000 adverse drug reaction onsets in 2012-2015 
Organisation Makerere University
Department Department of Pharmacology
PI Contribution Research team of Bird and Kiguba was given access to 1000 adverse drug reaction onsets in 2012-2015 that had been reported to Uganda's pharmacovigilance centre and registered on Vigi-base by 31st December 2017 in order to illustrate a range of pharmacovigilant analyses for Uganda's data. Paper in preparation.
Collaborator Contribution Facilitation by Uganda's pharmacovigilance centre and our co-authors at Uganda's NPC.
Impact Draft paper in preparation.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Uganda's pharmacovigilance centre - illustrations of pharmacovigilant analyses on 1000 adverse drug reaction onsets in 2012-2015 
Organisation National Pharmacovigilance Centre
PI Contribution Research team of Bird and Kiguba was given access to 1000 adverse drug reaction onsets in 2012-2015 that had been reported to Uganda's pharmacovigilance centre and registered on Vigi-base by 31st December 2017 in order to illustrate a range of pharmacovigilant analyses for Uganda's data. Paper in preparation.
Collaborator Contribution Facilitation by Uganda's pharmacovigilance centre and our co-authors at Uganda's NPC.
Impact Draft paper in preparation.
Start Year 2017
 
Description record-linkage study on methadone prescribing in Scotland by gender and age-group 
Organisation Information Services Division (ISD)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Study design with Stuart McTaggART & Marion Bennie, drafting of Privacy Access Committee application; eventual analysis withih MRC Biostatistics Unit
Collaborator Contribution Pharmacist-input to study design
Impact multi-disciplinary team but ananlysis at BSU; paper under review (not accepted). Report on MRC BSU website.
Start Year 2013
 
Description record-linkage study on methadone prescribing in Scotland by gender and age-group 
Organisation University of Strathclyde
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Study design with Stuart McTaggART & Marion Bennie, drafting of Privacy Access Committee application; eventual analysis withih MRC Biostatistics Unit
Collaborator Contribution Pharmacist-input to study design
Impact multi-disciplinary team but ananlysis at BSU; paper under review (not accepted). Report on MRC BSU website.
Start Year 2013
 
Description record-linkage study on risk factors for the opioid-specificity of drugs-related-deaths for Scotland's cohort of methadone clients, 2009 - 2013 
Organisation NHS Health Scotland
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Record linkage design with Stuart McTaggart and Marion Bennie, drafting of Privacy Access Committee application; eventual analysis according to SMB's analysis plan is within MRC Biostatistics Unit
Collaborator Contribution Pharmacist-input to study design; addictions input to interpretation of age-related high risk for methadone specific deaths
Impact One published paper by Gao et al (2016), and a follow-up paper to validate the Scottish results which were a first, has been accepted for publication by Pierce, Millar, Robertson and Bird (2018) in International Journal of Drug Policy.
Start Year 2015
 
Description record-linkage study on risk factors for the opioid-specificity of drugs-related-deaths for Scotland's cohort of methadone clients, 2009 - 2013 
Organisation University of Edinburgh
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Record linkage design with Stuart McTaggart and Marion Bennie, drafting of Privacy Access Committee application; eventual analysis according to SMB's analysis plan is within MRC Biostatistics Unit
Collaborator Contribution Pharmacist-input to study design; addictions input to interpretation of age-related high risk for methadone specific deaths
Impact One published paper by Gao et al (2016), and a follow-up paper to validate the Scottish results which were a first, has been accepted for publication by Pierce, Millar, Robertson and Bird (2018) in International Journal of Drug Policy.
Start Year 2015
 
Description record-linkage study on risk factors for the opioid-specificity of drugs-related-deaths for Scotland's cohort of methadone clients, 2009 - 2013 
Organisation University of Strathclyde
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Record linkage design with Stuart McTaggart and Marion Bennie, drafting of Privacy Access Committee application; eventual analysis according to SMB's analysis plan is within MRC Biostatistics Unit
Collaborator Contribution Pharmacist-input to study design; addictions input to interpretation of age-related high risk for methadone specific deaths
Impact One published paper by Gao et al (2016), and a follow-up paper to validate the Scottish results which were a first, has been accepted for publication by Pierce, Millar, Robertson and Bird (2018) in International Journal of Drug Policy.
Start Year 2015
 
Description 19th Herstmonceux Castle conference on Statistics, Science and Public Policy - Invitee 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited guest and see publications list
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011,2012,2013,2014,2015
 
Description Armitage Lectures 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Annual workshop and lecture created and hosted by the MRC Biostatistics Unit, to honour the immense contributions of Professor Peter Armitage who was at the unit from 1947 to 1961, and whose work is recognised throughout the world as achieving a successful balance between methodological rigour and applied commonsense, to which all statisticians aspire. An eminent medical statistician visits for a week and works with members of the unit. The highlight is the Armitage Lecture, where more than 100 delegates attend. This event raises the unit research profile and creates new collaborations.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity Pre-2006,2006,2007,2008,
URL https://www.mrc-bsu.cam.ac.uk/news-and-events/armitage-lectureships-and-workshops/
 
Description Australian lecture tour: 2 lectures in Melbourne, 3 in Sydney, and one in Brisbane on what pharmaceutical industry has done to reduce the mortality and morbidity of injectors, on record-linkage studies of the morbidity and mortality of drug-users and N-AL 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Sparked Australian interest in checking out the merrall finding of high drugs-related death risk in the 4-weeks after hospital-discharge for drug-users, especially those who have ever injected.

After Brisbane talk, a half-day worksahop was scheduled to discuss take-home naloxone interventions in Australia.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description BBC Scotland - Article on Drugs-related Deaths 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Article on Drugs-related Deaths following Hospital Discharge - In December 2015, policy decision was made by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde that its hospitals should prescribe take-home naloxone at hospital discharge for heroin users with a history of injecting.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-34738815
 
Description Battle of Ideas 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Introductory 5-7 minute talks by panellists sparked public debate and questions for 45+ minutes.

Lively, well-informed audience participation.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.battleofideas.org.uk/
 
Description CMO's H1N1 Statistical Legacy Group: Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Programme 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Type Of Presentation Keynote/Invited Speaker
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Statistical Legacy Group was set up by Sir Liam Donaldson in response to intervention by the Royal Statistical Society's president and vice-president (SMB) on the need to improve how data were collected for monitoring swine flu. One of several recommendations was the need to end the delay in England's registration of deaths.


Delay in England's registration of deaths is not yet closed.
However, Science and Technology Select Committee recommended to Department of Health that there should be a statistician-member of Scientific Advisory Group in Emergencies (SAGE) in any future pandemic.

CMO's H1N1 Statistical Legacy Group: Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Programme and policy statement by Royal Statistical Society - January 2012 which call for an end to late registration of deaths in England and Wales. With engagement and also support of the CMO, Dame Sally Davies, National Statistician, UK Statistics Authority; and Patrick Mercer MP subsequently wrote to the Prime Minister for his assistance in resolution.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010
 
Description Cambridge Science Festival 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Families, schools and general public from all around the Cambridge region attend Cambridge Science Festival interactive displays, exhibist, talks and other related events.
For the 2015 edition, the Festival welcomed over 30,000 visitors to over 200 events and received extensive national and local media coverage. The BSU stand was presented at two separate venues over two dates reaching out to hundreds of children and adults and communicating basic statistical methods, based on BSU research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2009,2010,2011,2012,2013
 
Description Cambridge Science Festival 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Annual Cambridge Science Festival. The Science Festival aims to provide the public with opportunities to explore and discuss issues of scientific interest and concern and to raise aspirations by encouraging young people to consider a career in science, technology, engineering or mathematics.
Organised and participated in the unit display for Cambridge Science Festival aimed at local school children aged 5-18.
MRC Biostatistics Unit's stand (organized by Dr Simon White) at Cambridge Science Festival 2012, 2013, 2014.
For the 2013 edition, the Festival welcomed over 30,000 visitors to over 200 events and received extensive national and local media coverage.
For the 2014 edition, the Festival had two separate venues (Cambridge Corn Exchange and the Clinical School of Medicine on Addenbrookes' Biomedical Campus) and it received extensive national and local media coverage.

Through activities, engaging children and families in how biostatistics is fun, affects their lives, and is great science.
Raised awareness of the Unit's work in the local schools community
Very good feedback from festival attendants.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2007,2008,2009,2011,2012
URL http://www.cam.ac.uk/science-festival
 
Description Chair of Biostatistics, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Board of Electors: Chair of Biostatistics, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine - Using knowledge and expertise to influence fellow academics and researchers in the field of biostatistics
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Chair of Data Safety Monitoring Committee for Best? Trial 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Chair of committee
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Chaired session at 2nd Cambridge University Africa Day (St Johns College) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Chaired session
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Contributed talk at International Naloxone Conference, Bergen Norway 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Contributed talk
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Debating Matters Competition 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Type Of Presentation Keynote/Invited Speaker
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Hundreds of schools from all UK participate in this competition each year.
Increasingly, schools who take part in the Debating Matters Competition want to try the format out for themselves within their schools to get more students involved - or those new to schools debating just want to know how to get started!
Debating Matters has produced two Resource Packs designed to support teachers in organising a debate club within their schools, or to establish their own Debating Matters style events for themselves.

Raised the profile of the Unit among the local schools community
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011,2012
URL http://www.debatingmatters.com/
 
Description Drugs related deaths to the Specialist Clinical Addiction Network 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Health professionals
Results and Impact About 40 attendees

Raised epidemiological awareness
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2007
 
Description Editorial Board for the Royal Statistical Society magazine; Significance 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Editorial Board
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015,2016
 
Description Feature Article in Recovery Research Institute Monthly Recovery Research Review 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Wrote feature article called 'Does providing opioid substitution therapy in prisons reduce the risk of death after release?'. Relaying the facts of this important area of research which has led to Scottish policy makers changing decisions on use of opoid substitution therapy following release from prison.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.recoveryanswers.org/pressrelease/does-providing-opioid-substitution-therapy-in-prisons-re...
 
Description Four contributed talks at Farr Instiute 1st International Conference St Andrews 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Four contributed talks
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Government Social Research Unit Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Type Of Presentation Keynote/Invited Speaker
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Government Social Research Unit Workshop on the need for Randomised Controlled Trials

Subsequent invitations to do similar workshop at Home Office and to Scotland's Justice Analysts
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2007,2008,2009
 
Description Invited Chair of Royal Statistical Society Meeting on 'Statisticians and the Media', organsied by General Applications & Young Statisticians Section 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Chaired meeting
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Invited Lecture to Bristol University Colloquium 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited talk - 'Biostatistician behind bars'
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Invited speaker (2 presentations) at Royal Society of Medicine FORENSIC conference, June 2014 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Talks were about i) the design and background to pilot N-ALIVE Trial which tests whether naloxone-on-releease can reduce by 30% drugs-related deaths in the 4-weeks after rpison-release; and ii) audit of fatal accident inquiries into 97 prisoner deaths in Scotland which had been influential in the Lord Cullen's recommendations.

Prompted discussion
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL https://www.rsm.ac.uk/events/events-listing/2013-2014/sections/clinical-forensic-legal-medicine-sect...
 
Description Invited speaker at A Celebration of 70 Years of the Sheffield RSS Local Group 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited speaker - 'Biostatistician behind bars'
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Invited speaker at Annual Conference for Society for the Study of Addiction, in session on science and politics - synergy or conflict? 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Talk on 'Naloxone on prison-relsease saves lives in Scotland but why not else where?'
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Invited speaker at Greenford High School, sixth form 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Invited talk - 'Biostatistician behind bars'
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Invited speaker at Royal Statistical Society Conference: primary health care special interest group session 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited speaker
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Invited speaker at Scotland's National Forum on Drugs-Related Deaths where I was asked to address what I considered to be the key research questions. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Sparked requests for ppt on which I'd set out at least 10 research questions

Research-in-confidence results were presented, some of wehich have not yet appeared in print but I receive regular follow-up requests fro notification about when they shall appear through the editorial mill.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Invited speaker for 'Statistics Meets the Public's Health' seminar series 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited speaker - 'Biostatistician behind bars'
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Invited speaker for Inaugural Seminar Series at Queens University Belfast 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited speaker - 'Biostatisttcian behind bars'
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Invitied to serve on Royal Statistical Society Honours Committee - 3 year invitation 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited to serve on Committee
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015,2016
 
Description Judge for regional final on Debating Matters (topic - Liberalising Drugs Policy) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Judge for regional final on Debating Matters (topic - Liberalising Drugs Policy)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description MRC Biostatistics Unit Centenary Celebrations: conference organization re Clinical trials: Past, Present & Future which included 2014 Bradford Hill Lecture at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicineand co-hosting of scientific session 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact Thus far, organization of the scientific meeting to take place on the afternoon of 4 June 2014 at LSHTM. Besides the 2014 Bradford Hill Lecture (to be given by Prof Stuart Pocock, the current professor of medical statistics at LSHTM), there will be a conversation between Prof Peter Armitage, Prof Vern Farewell and Sir Iain Chalmers on the history of British controlled trials and the central role of MRC Biostatistics Unit in that history.

yet to occur but excellent line-up of speakers. meeting is also co-badged with British and Irish Region of Biometrics Society, Royal Statistical Society and Statisticians in the Pharmaceutical Industry who have all contributed to choice of the afternoon's speakers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.mrc-bsu.cam.ac.uk/bradford-hill-memorial-lecture/
 
Description MRC Centenary & International Year of Statistics 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation Keynote/Invited Speaker
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact More than 600 people attended a series of Free Public Lectures co-hosted by the MRC BSU and the Cambridge Statistical Laboratory :
- Professor Sir Michael Rawlins, of NICE, "Failings in hierarchies of evidence for controversial health-policy decisions" (29 April 2013)
- Tim Harford, of More or Less, "Numbers are weapons: a self defence guide" (22nd May 2013)
- Professor Sir John Beddington FRS FRSE, "What's happening to the world?" (28th May 2013)
- Professor David J. Spiegelhalter OBE FRS, "Putting life into numbers - how statistical science has transformed health care" (20th June 2013)

Raised the profile of the Unit in the local region
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
URL http://www.mrc-bsu.cam.ac.uk/NewsandEvents/mrccentenary.html
 
Description MRC Centenary Open Day 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation Keynote/Invited Speaker
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact 50 + people attended an exhibition about the history, pioneers and discoveries of the MRC Biostatistics Unit, and a series of talks/discussions series of talks and lectures as part of the BSU contribution to MRC Centenary Open Days

Raised the profile of the Unit in the local region
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
URL http://www.mrc-bsu.cam.ac.uk/NewsandEvents/mrccentenary.html
 
Description Media enquiry - BBC Scotland 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Sheila Bird provided quote for article in BBC Scotland online, on rise in anti-overdose naloxone kits to cut drug deaths - based on drugs-related deaths research led by Sheila Bird http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-37761184
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Media interviews about military fatalities in Afghanistan 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation Keynote/Invited Speaker
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Since 1st May 2006, Bird and Fairweather post a 20 week updated analysis of military fatalities in Iraq and Afghanistan on MRC BSU website. 8 postings were summarised in an article in Journal of the Royal United Services Institute 2009 and methodology had been reported in International Journal of Epidemiology in 2007.
Bird and Fairweather adopted 10 weekly reporting during 2009/2010 because UK military fatality rate had been particularly high. They also drew attention to disproportionately many deaths of UK explosive experts in IED incidents which led (directly or indirectly) to a change in tactics in favour of detonation rather than exploitation of IEDs when possible.

Continued media interest. All reports pre circulated to colleagues in Ministry of Defence for their attention before public release. Reports have been forwarded to Field Commanders in Afghanistan.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2006,2007,2008,2009,2010
 
Description Medical Research Council Centenary Conference on Biostatistics, Queens' College, Cambridge: March 24-26th 2014 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact Coverage in Lancet; and Prof Pocock's lecture formed the baSIS OF A SUBSEQUENT PUBLICATION BY HIM.

Publication by Pocock on the basis of his 2014 Bradford Hill lecture and publication by Bird in James Lind Library
BIRD SM. Review of Controlled Clinical Trials (1960). James Lind Library 2014; April (http://www.jameslindlibrary.org/illustrating/articles/the-1959-meeting-in-vienna-on-controlled-clinical-trials-a-met).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.mrc-bsu.cam.ac.uk/medical-research-council-conference-on-biostatistics-ended-with-a-bang/
 
Description National Drugs-Related Death Conference, Dundee in Scotland 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact better understanding of the powerful but non-randomized design of Scotland's before/after evaluation of its National Naloxone programme, the 3-year outcomes for which were to be released as official statistics on 28 October 2014.

Artist impression drawn up of the main themes!
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://naloxone.org.uk/index.php/programme-report/11-naloxoneinformation/304-national-drug-related-d...
 
Description Nature & British Medical Journal - Online or print cite Prof Bird on the need for French regulator to release minimally redacted version of investigator brochure for the French trial in healthy volunteers in which one volunteer died tragically 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Nature & British Medical Journal - Online or print cite Prof Bird on the need for French regulator to release minimally redacted version of investigator brochure for the French trial in healthy volunteers in which one volunteer died tragically. Bird has commented as a member of the RSS Working Party on Statistical Issues in First in Man Studies which was convened in the aftermath of the UK's TGN1412 Tragedy
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description New Scientist Instant Expert: Mathematics 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Lecture entitled: 'Vital Statistics' about the Royal Statistical Society and the vital importance of statistical science.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Parliamentary film on how Select Committees work 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Video posted online on Youtube (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iLvNmMJmD0w) includes footage of SMB giving evidence to Science and Technology Select Committee inquiry into scientific advice in emergencies and explaining how she prepared for giving evidence.
Select Committees are an integral part of the scrutiny function of the House of Commons. The short film explains what their role and impact is, their membership, how the conduct inquiries, what it's like to be a witness and how you can get involved.

The video was posted in Youtube in July 2011, by October it has had more than 2200 hits.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
URL http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iLvNmMJmD0w
 
Description PhD talk at Big Data, Multimodality & Dynamic Models in Biomedical Imaging Meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact MP PhD student gave talk, on behalf of the BSU Imagaing Group, on neuroimaging analysis workflow. Talk was well attended and well received.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.turing-gateway.cam.ac.uk/dmb_mar2016.shtml
 
Description Plenary Lecturer to Mathematics teachers attending conference organsied by Princes Teaching Institute 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Invited Lecture - 'Biostatistician behind bars' to Mathematics Teachers
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Podcast on N-ALIVE for Plus Podcasts - Maths on the move 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Podcast interview about N-ALIVE trial and the work leading up to it

Subsequently SMB and DJS are project member in support of a successful application to the Wellcome Trust for £30,000 funding for dissemination on " How mathematics and statistics are used to make decisions about our health?"
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2008
 
Description Quintessential 'Counting for Health' for Parliamentarians and their researchers 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Policy-relevant topical examples in 'Counting for Health' were used to illustrate how cost-effectiveness is worked out for screening programmes, key epidemiological questions and how to answer them, formal experiments and why we need them, institutional performance and public understanding of risk and infectious disease epidemics

Some co-working with Dr Evan Harris MP
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2009
 
Description RSS Seminars to Journalists 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation Keynote/Invited Speaker
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Royal Statistical Society Seminar for Journalists

Now in its 7th run and there is a waiting list of journalists wanting to attend
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2007,2008,2009,2010,2011
 
Description Radio Interviews - Drug-related deaths research 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Sheila Bird gave radio live interviews for BBC Radio Scotland and BBC Radio 2 Drive Time, about Scotland's expected high numbers of drug-related deaths http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0910lbz
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Royal Statistical Society Obituaries Panel 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact 3 year appointment on panel
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015,2016
 
Description Royal Statistical Society lead on need for legislation to end late registration of deaths in E and W 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact Audience of 150 at Royal Society included Science Minister David Willetts whose attention I thereby drew to the delays in registration of inquest-deaths.

Conference @ RS was entitled: Foundation debate on maximising the use made of public and research data - 10Jul13

2014 Open Letter to Prime Minister (with Sense about Science and six Charities including INQUEST, SAMARITANS) to press for legislation in the current parliament. Request declined by Simon Hughes on behalf of government but he did engage in a helpful correspondence. Support also from PQs by Dr Julian Huppert , Cambridge MP.

The report by Professor David Wilkie CBE on the Foundation round-table discussion and debate on the theme "Maximising the use of public data - should research and publically acquired data be made more accessible" has now been posted on the Foundation web site together with the speakers presentations where available and audio files of what they said.

The speakers were Professor Geoffrey Boulton OBE FRS FRSE, Chair, The Royal Society Inquiry into Science as an Open Enterprise, Professor Sir Nigel Shadbolt FREng, Chairman and Co-Founder of the Open Data Institute, The Rt Hon David Willetts MP, Minister of State for Universities and Science, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. Professor Sheila M Bird OBE FRSE, Programme Leader, MRC Biostatistics Unit, Institute of Public Health, Cambridge, joined the panel in the discussion sessions.

The Foundation site is at:

www.foundation.org.uk

The round-table discussion was held at The Open Data Institute and the debate was held at The Royal Society.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013,2014
URL http://www.rss.org.uk/uploadedfiles/userfiles/files/18%20June%202014%20Open%20Letter%20to%20PM%20Lat...
 
Description Scientific liaison with Patrick Mercer MP 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation Paper Presentation
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Scientific liaison with Patrick Mercer MP who 1)subsequently posed questions on the results of compulsory drugs testing in the British Army by weekday of sample (2007); 2) posed questions to elicit waiting times for military inquests and got Ministry of Justice to publish waiting times for Boards of Inquiry (2008/9); 3) co-authored article for Straight Statistics on need for resourcing of military inquests to be increased again; 4) co-authored Straight Statistics article with Clive Fairweather and Patrick Mercer MP on the need to count Afghani military fatalities in Afghanistan, about which Patrick has asked parliamentary questions; 5) having worked with Patrick Mercer on waiting time for military inquests to reach verdict, SMB has recently enlisted his help on legislation to reduce the delay in registering England's coroner-referred deaths.

Published paper in Journal of the Royal United Services Institute in December 2007 which had major media coverage including an interview on the Today programme and led to collaboration with CDTHQ team in British Army to conduct the suggested analysis. Further paper in RUSI in June 2008 on results of analysis. 2008 analysis in JRUSI re compulsory drugs testing in the british army was followed up by letter to Minister & Ministry of Defence subsequently 'followed the evidence' by extending to class A drugs (notably, cocaine and ecstasy) commanding officers' discretion NOT to dismiss soldiers who tested positive but instead put them on the military's drugs rehabilitation programme.
Still no reporting Afghani military fatalities.
Too early to know if there will be legislation to reduce registration delays.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2007,2008,2009,2010,2011
 
Description Scottish Government (Justice Department, Drug Policy Unit) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Type Of Presentation Paper Presentation
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Seminar on 'The case for RCTs in Criminal Justice'.
Since mid 2010 SMB has been member of Scotland's National Naloxone Advisory Group, which monitors the impact of Scotland's public health policy on take-home naloxone (implemented from January 2011)

Second invitation which arose out of a previous seminar on related material.
SMB provided scientific background and study size considerations for Scotland's before-after comparison of percentage of opiate-related deaths that occur within 4 weeks of release from prison. This is a key outcome measure in monitoring the impact of take-home naloxone.
SMB also arranged for 3 naloxone related questions to be added to Scotland's Needle Exchange Surveillance of Injectors (NESI) in 2011 to assist in monitoring the carriage of naloxone.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2009,2010,2011,2012,2013
 
Description Sir David King's review of Science at the Home Office (and Ministry of Justice) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Served on the review panel for Sir David King's review of Science at the Home Office (and Ministry of Justice)

Positive Impacts on the use of Science in the Home Office, including being appointed to chair the Surveys, Design and Statistics Subcommittee of Home Office Scientific Advisory Committee
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2007
 
Description Sit on Committee for Senior Academic Promotions Committee (Mathematics and Statistics) for Cambridge University 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Sit on committee - 4 year appointment
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014,2015
 
Description Speaker at Australia Young Statisticians Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Public lecture - 'Biostatistician behind bars'
Plenary lecture - 'Changing face of statistics'
Debate on big data
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Start of 4 year appointment as Postgraduate External Examiner at Imperial College London MSc in Epidemiology 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Postgraduate External Examiner
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Straight Statistics 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Type Of Presentation Keynote/Invited Speaker
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Several articles on each of: swine flu; random mandatory drugs testing of prisoners; retention of innocent DNA profiles; redress for remand prisoners who do not subsequently receive a custodial sentence; military matters; drug-specific mortality; mephedrone; Peterborough Prison Pilot study on reducing recidivism; delayed registration of deaths in England.

President of the Royal Statistical Society wrote to Sir Liam Donaldson about the need to improve data quality and reporting of H1N1. More or Less interviewed Nigel Hawkes and Chief Medical Officer for England on data quality and statistical reporting standards re H1N1. Revised Government proposals of retention of innocent DNA profiles. SMB interviewed on More or Less about problematic analyses underlying previous proposals.
SMB has got the support of UK Statistics Authority for the need for the registration delay in England's deaths to end.
SMB has had extensive discussions with Ministry of Justice to improve how controls are selected for the Peterborough Prison Pilot study on reducing recidivism.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2009,2010,2011
 
Description The Times Internship 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation Keynote/Invited Speaker
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact The Times Online approached Sheila Bird, at the BSU, to see whether there was a way for the paper to work with statisticians to improve our understanding of some of statistical issues and, hopefully, provide statisticians with some insight into the challenges - and opportunities - of the journalistic publishing environment.
BSU scientists spent a week at The Times Online offices in London sharing expertise between statisticians and journalists, as well as promoting understanding of statistics and best practice in their use in reporting.
Raised awareness of the work of the Unit in the media

There have been organised 3 interships so far.
Several articles have been produced after workshops and published online, among them:
- Which Britons own the most guns? Posted by: Jonathan Richards (September 4th, 2009)
- The popularity of train travel over the past 100 years. Posted by: Jonathan Richards (September 1st, 2009)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2009,2010
URL http://www.mrc-bsu.cam.ac.uk/NewsandEvents/July2010_6_Times.html
 
Description Training Health Researchers into Vocational Excellence in East Africa - Attended AGM and final PhD supervision for Ronald Kiguba 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Attended AGM and final PhD supervision for Ronald Kiguba
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Update lecture for the Official Statistics Section of Royal Statistical Society on progress towards ending the late registration of deaths in England and Wales 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Sparked questions and suggestions on how else to bring influence to bear!

Wrote to 5 party leaders ahead of conference season to request that ending late registration of deaths be made a manifesto commitment.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Warwick University public lecture 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Public lecture - 'Biostatistician behind bars' - Podcast of lecture available via University website
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Working visit - Usher Institute, University of Edinburgh 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact Visiting scholar at University of Edinburgh for 2 - 3 days per month, providing knoweldge on medical statistics to students
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description invited speaker at GETSTATS/Home Office meeting on How data and statistics can radically change policy outcomes 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Bird presented on how the robust design of EU's surveilance data for late-stage transmissible spongiform encephalopathies had transformed our understanding of the epidemiology of scrapie and led UK to be recognised as a moderate (no longer HIGH) risk country for BSE. And yet the very surveillance that UK had relied upon was initially resisted by UK!

Raised the important question of the need for blood test for vCJD for as extensive surveillance in humans - ei beyond that which testing of appendices could offer.

Better understanding by civil servants of interplay between design, evidence and empirically-informed policy-decisions
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.statslife.org.uk/events/eventdetail/145/-/-
 
Description invited speaker at RUSTAT conference on Risk at Jesus College, Cambridge on 4 March 2014. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Talk on risk re BSE and subclincial carriage of vCJD sparked discussion, including from former minister of agriculture who spoke in the same session.

issues raised in the talk formed part of my written, and invited oral, evidence to House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee Inquiry into vCJD risks to safety of blood supply.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.rustat.org/Home.php
 
Description invited speaker at annual conference of Statisticians in the Pharmaceutical Industry, May 2014. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Sparked questions and debate.

Made statisticians in pharma thoughtful about, and wary of, payment by results schemes unless VERY WELL designed.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description protocol for Scotland's evaluation of its National Naloxone Programme accepted for publication ahead of the relesase of 3-year outcomes as official statistics on 28 October 2014 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Scotland adopted the primary outcome suggested by Bird et al.; and likewise the suggested secondary outcome so that the 3-year evaluatino would have at least 80% power in respect of 30% reduction in primary outcome and 20% reduction in secondary outcome. Actual reductions were 36% (down from 193/1970 ORDs (9.8%) in 2006-2010 to 76/1212 (6.3%) in 2011-2013) and 22% respectively (down from19% to 14.9%).

Monitoring proposals adopted in Scotland.
First robust evidence (albeit non-randomized) on the effectiveness (and cost-effectiveness) of take-home naloxone and naloxone-on-release.
Spur to England's adpotion of a similat public health policy as Norman Baker seemed to suggest in debate on UK drugs policy on 30 October 2014 (see Hansard).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010,2012,2013,2014