Research Article

Possible method of identifying spotter practices in a health board in Northern Ireland.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1984; 288 doi: (Published 11 February 1984) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1984;288:455
  1. W W McConnell,
  2. V K Tohani


    We examined the notification of infectious diseases, including measles, by general practitioners over 18 months, which included a measles epidemic in the area covered by the Southern Health and Social Services Board in Northern Ireland. Of the 156 general practitioners who provided services in the area, 27 (17.3%) had a pattern of notification which might render them acceptable as "spotter" practices, a system which at present does not exist in Northern Ireland, although it is used in the rest of the United Kingdom. In future we hope to be able to; (i) predict impending epidemics of infectious disease; (ii) mobilise Health Service resources to minimise the effects of such epidemics; (iii) monitor the effects of improving the level of uptake of measles vaccine.