Ultimately, dementia basic science and diagnostic advances need to be focused on the individual, their relationships and the wider community. This theme benefits from a strong research base in user-centred and care-delivery design, with particular focus on the dementia workforce. There is established work focusing on quality of life in dementia subgroups, and on evaluating the nature of care provision in the community. New models of care have been pioneered including digital self-management provision (My Medical Record).

This theme has strong relationships to the NHS, social care and third sector organisations. The Wessex NIHR Applied Research Collaboration (ARC), focused on closing the translational gap from clinical evidence to direct patient benefit has Ageing and Dementia as a core theme, with national ARC leadership of this area. Theme members already work with the NHSI Clinical Networks, regional commissioners and the STP, the Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) and the Alzheimer’s Society which supports the Dementia Doctoral Training Centre. This theme provides expertise which can influence local and national policy with the potential for consultancy work in this area.

Early life factors, including socio-economic factors, nutrition, environmental factors, from conception, are associated with the risk of dementia and cognitive impairment in later life. This theme aims to explore those early life factors and their effects on disease risk factors in later life, with a view to develop new ways to reduce risk factors and prevent dementia development.

Early development of pathological features associated with dementia are analysed using stem cells derived from patients, mimicking some biochemical features in the brain of those patients. This allows an early time window into the development of pathological features and a model to analyse ways to prevent their appearance.

Dr Sandrine Willaime-Morawek

Dr Sandrine Willaime-Morawek

Associate Professor Dr Sandrine Willaime-Morawek leads a research group that investigates the role of the microenvironment on the activity of stem cells in the developing, adult or pathological brain. She is part of the Centre for Human Development, Stem Cells & Regeneration and the Southampton Neuroscience Group.Her research interests include the study of early developmental exposure and their effect on later life phenotype and risk factors for conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease. Moreover, she uses patients-derived stem cells to model in vitro early development of pathological biochemical features

Dr Jackie Bridges

Dr Jackie Bridges

Jackie Bridges is Professor of Older People’s Care at the University of Southampton. Reflecting a paramount interest in organisational change and professional work, Jackie’s research draws on the methods and theoretical perspectives of the social sciences. Her research focuses on health care systems and workforce, particularly nursing, examining the organisational conditions in which health workers are able to deliver responsive, high quality care to older people with complex needs. Jackie leads the Ageing and Dementia research group in the School of Health Sciences and is an investigator for NIHR Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) Wessex, helping to lead the ARC Ageing and Dementia work in Wessex and nationally.

Creating Learning Environments for Compassionate Care (CLECC) in mental health settings: an implementation study

Creating Learning Environments for Compassionate Care (CLECC) in mental health settings: an implementation study

We have developed and piloted a programme called Creating Learning Environments for Compassionate Care (CLECC), and this project pilots its use in mental health settings. In CLECC, all registered nurses and health care assistants from participating wards attend a study day, with a focus on team building and understanding patient experiences. A nurse educator (who is not usually part of the ward team) supports the team to try new ways of working on the ward, including regular supportive discussions on improving care. Ward managers attend learning groups to develop their leadership role. Volunteer team members receive training in observations of care and feeding back information to colleagues.

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Assessment of multidisciplinary care for complex neurodegenerative disorders

Assessment of multidisciplinary care for complex neurodegenerative disorders

Atypical parkinsonian syndromes are rare complex neurodegenerative diseases such as progressive supranuclear palsy. Patients rapidly deteriorate, accruing multiple disabilities including walking, swallowing, visual and cognitive dysfunction. Patients quickly become dependent and die typically within 6 years of disease onset.
Unfortunately there is no curative or disease modifying treatment and management is supportive. It is not known how best to care for patients with these class of diseases. In particular, would it be more useful to have a multidisciplinary clinic, with therapists, allied health professionals and a coordinator present at the appointment, or a straight forward appointment with a single clinician with separate referrals to other agencies as needed. We are therefore assessing examples of both types of services with longitudinal quantitative and qualitative assessments. This will be used to determine benefits for quality of life and health economics. Results will be used to inform national guidelines and best management practice going forwards.

read more
Assessment of multidisciplinary care for complex neurodegenerative disorders

Assessment of multidisciplinary care for complex neurodegenerative disorders

Atypical parkinsonian syndromes are rare complex neurodegenerative diseases such as progressive supranuclear palsy. Patients rapidly deteriorate, accruing multiple disabilities including walking, swallowing, visual and cognitive dysfunction. Patients quickly become dependent and die typically within 6 years of disease onset.
Unfortunately there is no curative or disease modifying treatment and management is supportive. It is not known how best to care for patients with these class of diseases. In particular, would it be more useful to have a multidisciplinary clinic, with therapists, allied health professionals and a coordinator present at the appointment, or a straight forward appointment with a single clinician with separate referrals to other agencies as needed. We are therefore assessing examples of both types of services with longitudinal quantitative and qualitative assessments. This will be used to determine benefits for quality of life and health economics. Results will be used to inform national guidelines and best management practice going forwards.

read more
Creating Learning Environments for Compassionate Care (CLECC) in mental health settings: an implementation study

Creating Learning Environments for Compassionate Care (CLECC) in mental health settings: an implementation study

We have developed and piloted a programme called Creating Learning Environments for Compassionate Care (CLECC), and this project pilots its use in mental health settings. In CLECC, all registered nurses and health care assistants from participating wards attend a study day, with a focus on team building and understanding patient experiences. A nurse educator (who is not usually part of the ward team) supports the team to try new ways of working on the ward, including regular supportive discussions on improving care. Ward managers attend learning groups to develop their leadership role. Volunteer team members receive training in observations of care and feeding back information to colleagues.

read more

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