The NIHR has approved research plans for a consortium of Applied Research Collaborations (ARCs) to develop a programme to improve the health and wellbeing of older people.
The research programme, a collaboration between PenARC, NIHR ARC Greater Manchester, NIHR ARC Yorkshire & Humber and led by NIHR ARC Wessex, will focus on the health challenges facing our growing older population. It will support three multi-regional projects that are as much about staying well as about finding better ways to care for and treat people in later life.
Dr Sarah Brand and University of Exeter Professor Clive Ballard are co-leading one of the three projects. The University of Exeter WHELD project offers training to care home staff to improve the well-being and mental health of dementia residents. Dementia theme lead, Professor Linda Clare a co-prinicipal investigator on the project said: “Getting research evidence into practice is key to improving care, but challenging to do. This funding from NIHR has allowed us to identify evidence with potential to make a real difference and support the process of real-world implementation. These projects will make sure important research evidence is used to directly improve health and well-being for older people, including care home residents and people living with dementia.”
PenARC Associate Professor of Ageing and Rehabilitation Professor Vicki Goodwin Professor MBE, a clinical-academic physiotherapist specialising in the care of older people, in particular falls, fractures and frailty, is the Patient and Public Involvement lead for the programme and is working on the FLEXI project, a falls management exercise programme.
Together the consortium will work across the NIHR ARC network in England as part of the NIHR National Priority Area research programme. The work is funded by an award of £1.8 million until September 2023.
Professor Helen Roberts, from NIHR ARC Wessex leads the consortium of ARCs behind the Ageing, Dementia and Frailty research. She said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to deliver research that will make a real difference to older people and their families. The research teams leading the three projects have spent many years collecting evidence to show that their interventions work. Now we can see how best to use these interventions in a range of real life situations across different parts of the country.”
The three projects are:
- WHELD: Training care home staff to improve well-being and mental health of dementia residents led by NIHR ARC South West Peninsula and working with NIHR ARC South London, NIHR ARC East Midlands, NIHR ARC East of England, NIHR ARC North East North Cumbria, NIHR ARC North West Coast and NIHR ARC Yorkshire and Humber
- FinCH Implementation study: Falls prevention in care homes led by NIHR ARC East Midlands working with NIHR ARC North East North Cumbria, NIHR ARC West Midlands and NIHR ARC South London
- FLEXI: Falls management exercise programme led by NIHR ARC East Midlands working with NIHR ARC Greater Manchester and NIHR ARC South West Peninsula
July 2022 – Post-doctoral research opportunities open for applications
We have a number of opportunities, based across our campuses in Exeter and Plymouth, for post-doctoral researchers with a background in health and social care, the social sciences and the creative arts, to join our dementia programme as future dementia research leaders.
Our Dementia theme offers extensive opportunities for three Post-doctoral Training Fellowships to gain experience in key priority areas, preparing them to become future research leaders. Our dementia research focuses on (a) better understanding of the needs of people living with dementia and carers and developing interventions to help meet these needs, (b) better understanding of population risk factors for dementia and how these can be addressed, and (c) maximising impact from existing research in these areas through effective implementation. Enhancing quality of life and well-being, tackling health inequalities, co-production, and inclusion of ‘seldom heard’ groups are all central to our approach.
Our research is conducted throughout the UK and beyond, but the particular challenges facing people with dementia living in the southwest provide an excellent environment for developing and evaluating innovative approaches to improving lives and services.
- To apply for a Fellowship based at the University of Exeter
The closing date is 31st July, and interviews will take place on 11th August.
- To apply for a Fellowship based at the University of Plymouth
The closing date is 27th July, and interviews will take place on 10th August.