Research methodology

The Centre for Primary Care places a major emphasis on advancing methodology.

A major strength is in the area of primary care informatics, which represent a unique and powerful tool for NHS research and quality improvement.

Our work includes:

  • Investigations into the validity of primary care database studies (through replications in different databases and investigation of methods for addressing bias)
  • Establishment of a freely available web-repository for researchers (; and on-going development of tools to facilitate high quality analysis.

The recent investment by the MRC in the Health e-Records Centre in Manchester will further stimulate new work in this area, through our collaborations with Professor Iain Buchan and Professor Tjeerd van Staa

We have also published high quality methodological work around other issues:

  • Quality indicator development and evaluation (to support the Quality and Outcomes Framework)
  • Measurement of patient experience (to support NHS surveys)
  • Evidence synthesis and meta-analysis
  • Delivery of randomized trials (MRC START)
  • Use of observational and case study methods to study of service organisation and delivery
  • Patient-Centred Trials