We will assess the value for money of a new system of detecting and managing outbreaks of diarrhoeal infectious diseases. This new syndromic surveillance system, based on actively searching for outbreaks followed by public health measures to contain the spread of infection, will be compared with current practice which is based on routine sampling with public health measures triggered only when laboratories confirm an infection has been detected.
If this study shows that the active surveillance strategy does lead to earlier detection of outbreaks of infection, there are likely to be costs and benefits attached to this. By assessing these costs and benefits, we will be able to inform decisions about using this approach nationally.
To do this, we will collect and analyse data about infection and symptom rates, tests, health care costs and health outcomes. Patients’ use of health care and personal social services, time off work or school/college and impact on their health will be measured as part of Process Evaluation (Work Package 5).