Enrich News

New funding opportunity for researchers - organistion of dementia services

The NIHR Health Services and Delivery Research Programme has announced a new funding call to deliver research that will help service leaders and managers to make decisions about commissioning and delivering care for people with dementia.

Large numbers of people are now living with dementia. This poses specific challenges for health and care services, where people with dementia make up about a quarter of hospital inpatients and more than two thirds of care home residents.

The majority of people with dementia though live at home and a key issue is how best to support them and their families and carers. National strategies and local service improvements have changed some ways in which care is delivered. But in many areas there is a lack of robust evidence on the most effective and cost-effective service models.

Following an NIHR themed call, six new health service research projects on dementia were funded in 2012. However, these addressed only a few of the pressing service problems in and around dementia care. Since 2012, stakeholders have continued to identify dementia as a priority area at annual workshops for the HS&DR programme. In addition, the James Lind Alliance and Alzheimer’s Society held a priority setting partnership between patients, carers, researchers and clinicians in 2013 which identified key priorities for future research on dementia. This was broad and included all aspects of patient experience and care. The ten priorities and the longer list of 146 questions identified through widespread consultation highlighted a number of important service uncertainties where there is no reliable evidence.

As a result of this the NIHR Health Services and Delivery Research funding street has issues a new call, which focuses on research around delivery of services and organisation of care.

Four particular areas have been identified, where new health services research would help service leaders and managers to make decisions about commissioning and delivering care for people with dementia. Studies are likely to use mixed methods, given complexity of interventions and context. Care should be given to identifying a range of appropriate outcomes including different aspects of patient and carer experience, including quality of life, independence, management of behaviour and progression of disease.

(1)   Memory clinics and allied services – what is the best way of organising post-diagnosis treatment and coordination of care for people with dementia and how are they best configured and staffed?

(2)   Integrated community and intermediate care – what are the most cost-effective ways of providing integrated 24/7 health and care support for people with dementia and their carers at home?

(3)   Care homes – understanding differences in care home settings and impact on costs, quality and outcomes for people with dementia?

(4)   Hospitals – which models of acute care and staffing lead to better quality care and shorter length of stay for people with dementia?

Adam Smith, DeNDRoN Programme Manager said "This new call will provide much needed evidence to support improvements in care, and is a fantastic oppertunity for care homes to become involved in studies."

Researchers who would like to use benefit from input / network support in submitting a proposal should contact us at enrich.crndementias@nihr.ac.uk for advice on recruitment and feasibiliy and input from the research ready care home network may be possible.

Care Home Managers / staff who want to be involved in the delivery of new research can contact the network through the Rearch Readt Care Home Link at the top of this page.

author: Adam Smith

Written by Adam Smith on Thursday July 10, 2014

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