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Prestigious award for 'outstanding' primary-care researcher

The 'outstanding' work of Julia Hippisley-Cox, Professor of Clinical Epidemiology and General Practice at The University of Nottingham, has been recognised by the Royal College of General Practitioners.

Professor Hippisley-Cox has been awarded the highly prestigious John Fry Silver Medal an award made each year to a younger member of the College who has promoted the discipline of general practice through research and publishing as a practicing GP.

Professor Hippisley-Cox said: "It's a great honour to receive this award and I would like to thank my colleagues, The University of Nottingham, EMIS and the general practices who have contributed data medical research without which much of the research would not have been possible."

Established in 1995, the award commemorates the work of John Fry, one of the founders of epidemiology in general practice and perhaps the most prominent GP of his generation involved in research.

Professor Mike Pringle, Medical Director of Revalidation at the Royal College of General Practitioners and Professor in Primary Care at The University of Nottingham, who presented the award, said: "Julia Hippisley-Cox's remarkable academic achievements make her a very worthy recipient of the John Fry Award."

There are two defining developments for which Professor Hippisley-Cox is renowned.

Having recognised the potential of routine GP electronic clinical records for research, Professor Hippisley-Cox established QResearch the largest clinical research database in the world in partnership with leading clinical systems provider EMIS. This database is now used by researchers throughout the UK and, increasingly, in Europe. There have been over 100 research publications using its data so far.

She also established QSurveillance, the largest surveillance system of its kind worldwide another partnership with EMIS. QSurveillance extracts routine clinical data from general practices so that it can be used to directly improve patient care. The systems looks at over 100 indicators for 23 million people in the UK every day. Not only is this used for monitoring flu and it will be invaluable in an epidemic or pandemic but it was also used in real time to examine the health effects of disasters such as the Buncefield fire and the Avon floods.

Professor Julia Hippisley-Cox is a General Practitioner and a focused and extremely prolific researcher whose innovative methods and academic rigor have been recognised by her peers in the UK and internationally. Her contribution was decisive in the recent excellent result for The University of Nottingham in the Research Assessment Exercise.

Professor Hippisley-Cox has used QResearch to develop a new model of cardiovascular risk assessment called QRisk. Soon every patient's records will contain an automatically calculated cardiovascular risk score, allowing GPs to identify and target those at greatest risk.

Last year Tony Avery, Professor of Primary Care in The University of Nottingham's Medical School, received the John Fry Award for promoting the discipline of general practice through research and publishing as a practising GP. Professor Avery is considered to be one of the leading patient-safety researchers in the world. He said: "It is quite clear from my knowledge of Julia's work that she is one of the most outstanding primary-care researchers in the world and the impact of her publications is phenomenal".

Qresearch specialises in research and analyses using primary care electronic health data. More information can be found at

Qsurveillance is a near real time surveillance scheme which will collect, analyse and report on rates of infectious diseases as well influenza related conditions, flu vaccine and pneumococcal vaccine uptake. QSurveillance already has the capability of providing timely data in the face of emerging public health problems. It can also respond to chemical incidents, concerns about safety of medication or report in extreme weather conditions (eg during a heat wave) to help estimate the scale of the problem and plan a response. More information can be found at

Qrisk can be used to work out your risk of having a heart attack or stroke over the next 10 years. The QRISK2 algorithm has been developed by doctors and academics working in the UK National Health Service and is based on routinely collected data from many thousands of GPs across the country who have freely contributed data for medical research. A software development kit is available to build the QRISK2 engine into healthcare systems. More information can be found at


Contact: Professor Julia Hippisley-Cox
University of Nottingham

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