Intelligence and Surveillance Manager
areas of expertise
Mark Whitfield is the Systems Development Manager at the Public Health Institute. He leads the PHI data monitoring team who manage the collection of data from a variety of agencies in the North West.
Mark has responsibility for various local monitoring systems including IMS (Non Structured Treatment Monitoring for drugs and alcohol, including syringe exchange), TIIG (Trauma and Injury Intelligence) and DIP (Drug Interventions Programme) Mark has also lead in the development of bespoke database systems to accurately record non structured interventions within drug services in Liverpool and alcohol services throughout Merseyside and Cheshire.
Mark has a background in the field of drugs and alcohol having worked for almost 15 years originally within the scope of a local Mental Health NHS Trust, involving face to face work with drug using clients before moving on to more information based roles.
Mark Whitfield's Publications
Criminal Justice Project: Drug Interventions Programme – Re-offending of clients testing positive for class A drugs across Merseyside
The Drug Interventions Programme (DIP) is a multi-agency initiative with an overarching aim to break the cycle of drug use and crime. DIP directs Class A drug using offenders towards appropriate treatment which incorporates a holistic support system to address both offending and drug use.
The main route into treatment is through a Required Assessment which is imposed by the police following a positive test for Class A drugs in the custody suite. Until mid-2015, Test on Arrest in Merseyside occurred when an adult was drug tested following an arrest for a trigger offence (i.e. theft, burglary). Merseyside Police rolled out a targeted testing approach in its custody suites which was fully implemented by August 2015, which involves a set of questions around drug use and offending that should be considered before a decision is made on whether the arrestee is drug tested. However, evidence suggests targeted testing may not be working effectively, as recent findings show a substantial reduction in the number of drug tests and drug using offenders coming into the treatment system.
The main aim of this report was to identify whether offenders who previously tested positive for Class A drugs in a Merseyside custody suite were no longer offending, or that they continued to offend but were not being drug tested. The report also investigated the impact of criminal justice interventions and DIP on offending by comparing the offending in the 12 months prior to and 12 months following a positive drug test.
TIIG Lancashire – Alcohol-related violence across Lancashire April 2013 to March 2016
Violence is a preventable public health problem and yet there are over one million violent incidents each year in England and Wales, approximately half of which involve alcohol and one quarter of which occur in night time economy environments. Between April 2013 and March 2016 there were 14,427 injury attendances to Lancashire Accident and Emergency Departments (AEDs) by residents of Lancashire for injuries sustained from violence. This TIIG Lancashire report presents data and analyses relating to alcohol-related violence; where data were recorded, alcohol was consumed prior to an assault attendance in 44% of incidents. This report presents AED attendances for violence across Lancashire in terms of demographics, area of residence, attendance rates and attendance information (including incident location, referral source, arrival mode and disposal method) between April 2013 and March 2016. Using alcohol-related data collected by two of the trusts, case studies are also provided for Chorley, Preston, South Ribble and West Lancashire local authorities.
TIIG Lancashire: Falls across Lancashire – April 2013 to March 2016
Falls are the second leading cause of death from accidents worldwide and adults aged over 65 years suffer the greatest number of fatal falls. Between April 2013 and March 2016 there were 63,398 ambulance call outs and 17,182 emergency hospital admissions for falls in Lancashire. This TIIG Lancashire report presents data and analyses relating to call outs and emergency hospital admissions for falls using North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) and Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) data. Trends are presented in terms of demographics, call out locations, and patient geography; comparisons are also drawn between NWAS and HES data, particularly in terms of age standardised rates per 1,000 population for given geographical areas.
Mark Whitfield's Papers
Journal of Substance Use. 15 (6), 367-76, 2010.
Abstract: Background: Community pharmacies are established service providers for problematic drug users (PDUs). PDUs have many unmet health needs, which pharmacists may be able to help resolve. This paper aims to qualitatively explore the feasibility and desirability of further developing community pharmacy services to meet the wider health needs of problematic drug users. Methods: Semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions were used to explore current and future pharmacy service provision to PDUs. Views were sought from 20 PDUs, 12 staff from community pharmacies, and seven stakeholders and commissioners from relevant agencies. Data were thematically analyzed and potential services including possible barriers identified. Results & Discussion: Data highlighted variability in current services in the study area in terms of availability and quality. Good rapport between users and regular staff was highlighted as an important factor in good quality services. Pharmacies were consistently identified as having key opportunities to make useful health interventions within a range of therapeutic areas including nutrition, dentistry, wound care, and infectious diseases. The most widely supported roles were based around information provision and signposting. However, there was support for direct interventions to be delivered within the pharmacy, by a regular member of staff or a visiting specialist.