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“Hearing loss commonly occurs alongside dementia, yet tests for dementia often include verbal questions that rely on hearing. The new test replaces spoken questions with written ones. It was evaluated in a study of 256 people and found to be accurate and reliable. People scored similarly when they were tested 2 to 4 weeks after their first test.

The new test could accurately diagnose dementia in people with hearing problems. However, it needs to be explored further. Women tended to score lower than men, and it was less effective in different languages.”

If you would like to read more on this topic click here 

“The Research Programme for Social Care (RPSC) will replace NIHR’s Research for Social Care (RfSC) funding call. RfSC has invested £13 million into social care research across six funding calls since its launch in 2019. The new programme’s first funding call will open on 27 September 2023.

RPSC will fund research focused on improving social care for both adults and children. The programme is encouraging applications from researchers at all stages of their careers. Funding will be available for a wide range of social care research topics and research designs. Applicants in the devolved administrations – Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – will be eligible.

NIHR is delighted that RPSC will be led by Professor Martin Knapp as Programme Director. Professor Knapp is also Director of the NIHR School for Social Care Research, and Professor of Health and Social Care Policy, in the Care Policy and Evaluation Centre at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

The new Programme aligns with DHSC’s new Innovation and Improvement unit, which is working with sector partners to establish clear priorities for innovation and research across adult social care. When fully established, the unit will look at how research can inform all aspects of policymaking and delivery of care across the sector, to ensure we learn from best practice and promote new approaches to care that can improve outcomes for the people at the heart of it.

RPSC will run two funding calls each year and more focused highlight notices periodically.

Professor Knapp said, “The launch of this new Programme highlights NIHR’s commitment to funding the research we need to improve social care. I’m excited to work with people who draw on social care, carers and social care professionals across the sector to tackle the challenges we need to address with innovative new research.”

A continued focus on social care research

RPSC is part of NIHR’s continued focus on building and improving social care research. Since 2006, the NIHR has awarded more than £200 million to social care research projects. The new programme stands alongside several other high-profile endeavours to provide evidence and support researchers and social care practitioners:

  • NIHR’s School for Social Care Research. The SSCR aims to develop the evidence base for adult social care practice in England
  • The Social Care Incubator, supported by NIHR. The incubator provides opportunities for researchers to learn about adult social care, related research and the opportunities that exist for developing research knowledge, skills, networks and projects in the sector.
  • NIHR’s Applied Research Collaborations. The ARCs each focus on social care as part of their applied health research. ARC Kent, Surrey and Sussex is the ARC national priority lead for social care and social work.
  • NIHR’s Policy Research Units. Several PRUs focus on social care topics, including Adult Social Care, Health and Social Care Workforce, Health and Social Care Systems and Commissioning, the Economics of Health and Social Care, and Quality, Safety and Outcomes of Health and Social Care.

The NIHR also runs the Health and Social Care Delivery Research Programme, which funds research to produce rigorous and relevant evidence to improve the quality, accessibility and organisation of health and social care services.

The existing service has enjoyed considerable success, with approximately 60,000 people currently registered, over 10,000 new volunteers in the last year. Volunteers have been involved in a range of studies which have helped improve quality of life and led to some promising pharmaceutical breakthroughs.

Over recent weeks we have discussed the service with people living with dementia and their families, as well as charities, government organisations, researchers and other stakeholders.

This feedback is helping us to understand the current challenges facing users and researchers and how to ensure the service works for them. We are working on a blueprint for an improved dementia research service which will be tested and refined over the coming months.

We are continuing our commitment to involving people with dementia in the design process and to ensure research remains as accessible as possible to people living with the condition. Ultimately, the work should enable more high-quality dementia research to take place through the service and enable more people to actively take part.

We are grateful for the continued support Join Dementia Research receives from the care home community, residents, and their families and friends.

Join Dementia Research stories:

Please encourage your residents and their families and friends to sign up to Join Dementia Research.

“The National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) has funded a new major study investigating how music therapy can reduce patient distress and physical assaults on NHS inpatient wards for people with dementia.

The study is called MELODIC – Music therapy Embedded in the Life of Dementia mental health Inpatient Care. It’s being led by Anglia Ruskin University’s Cambridge Institute for Music Therapy Research, alongside Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust.

The researchers are also working in partnership with Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust and Dementia UK.”

Read more here 

“Webinar 1

Friday 21 July 2023. 12:00-13:30 – Online 

The first webinar will be about Improving the effectiveness and efficiency of care home based research: Shifting the balance- enabling care home staff and residents to be partners and leaders in research.

Chair: Julienne Meyer


  • Evidence review and uptake: Sarah Kelly (University of Cambridge), Guy Peryer (University of East Anglia) and Karen Spilsbury (University of Leeds)
  • Care home trials archive: what questions interest care home staff and researchers? Lisa Irvine (University of Hertfordshire).
  • Resident and staff engagement with research questions: Anne Killett (University of East Anglia)”

Who should attend?

The webinar will be of interest to researchers and people working in, with and for care homes.

More information or to register please click here ARC East of England webpage

The NIHR ARC East Midlands team are now able to share our implementation training booklets with you all.  4 booklets are available:

  1. Implementation: Principles and Perspectives
  2. Engagement, Involvement & Coproduction
  3. Planning for Impact
  4. Measuring & Evidencing Impact

Download free of charge here

“Greater attention is rightly being paid to the valuable work that social care staff do to support living and dying well in care home and domiciliary care settings. The evidence base is growing about promoting continence and preventing urinary tract infection (UTI) in old age and is a potentially helpful resource for social care staff and managers. This #CRED talk showcases the best of this research in the UK, with a focus on practical take-home messages for people working in social care.

When the need to go to the toilet is complicated by mobility, sensory and cognitive challenges the health and social care needs of the person often intersect. This #CRED talk will consider the value of reframing different interventions as integral to intimate and personal care work and of fitting them alongside other care being delivered. It discusses how opportunities to reflect on practice and learn from each other about how to promote continence and prevent UTI, help to ensure that existing evidence is used more effectively.

This #CRED talk will bring you up to date with the latest evidence and associated learning resources in care home and domiciliary settings, with the aim of supporting you in the work that you do.”

Date: Thursday 4th May 2023

Time: 15:00 – 16:00

Venue: Online 

For more details please click here 

ENRICH has been developed by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR), and is a resource supported by the NIHR

“Our multi-disciplinary team can offer advice on the key ingredients in a successful health or social care research proposal, including:
  • Statistics and health economics
  • Qualitative methodology
  • Support on involving patients and public in research, identified by the NIHR as a critical component in funding applications
  • Peer review of draft grant applications before submission.
Find out more about how RDS South Central could help you and your team at”

‘Services impact carers differently than the people they care for and their views are just as important. The views of carers are important, could make a difference, and should be valued in health and social care research. However, research often overlooks these perspectives.

NIHR have just published a set of graphics to support the involvement of unpaid/family carers in health and social care research.

We hope our graphics will provide support for both researchers and carers to work together. One graphic focuses on the top tips for researchers involving carers in their work, the other focuses on top tips for carers who are considering becoming involved.’

“The Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Programme is accepting Stage 1 applications to their commissioned workstream for this primary research topic.

In order to apply you will need to carefully review the:

Applications received by the advertised closing date will be considered at a first-stage funding committee meeting, and successful applicants will then be invited to submit a Stage 2 application. Applicants will have 8 weeks to complete and submit their Stage 2 application form, which will then be considered at the following HTA funding committee meeting. For more information, please read the commissioning brief.

All primary research projects are expected to establish a programme appointed Study Steering Committee and it is important that you read the Research Governance Guidance before completing your application. Costs incurred by this committee should be included in the budget as appropriate.

Studies within a trial or review

This funding opportunity is eligible for a SWAT/SWAR (study within a trial or study within a review), which can help significantly improve methodology of future research as well as the host study. Find out about the benefits of SWATs/SWARs and how to include one in your application.

Australian National Health and Medical Research Council collaborations

The Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) is considering its next round of joint funding with the NIHR, and may include this funding opportunity. If so, the NHMRC will invest a total of up to $3 million AUD to cover the Australian component of all research projects selected for funding, under all the calls it is supporting.

NHMRC will provide funding for the Australian-based Chief Investigator, in accordance with the standard NHMRC funding agreement and the NHMRC-NIHR Collaborative Research Grant Scheme guidelines. Please refer to the NHMRC website for more information. UK-only applications are also welcome.”


Opens  23 March 2023 –  closes 13:00 on 29 November 2023