The Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia 2020 contained over 50 commitments towards making England the best place in the world for dementia care, research and societal dementia awareness by 2020. Work led by Claire Surr, Professor of Dementia Studies, at Leeds Beckett is highlighted twice in the Department of Health’s updated implementation plan, which specifies how to meet these commitments; with priority actions grouped focusing on risk reduction, health and care, dementia awareness and social action.
Leeds Beckett and the Together in Dementia Everyday (TIDE) network of family carers, are leading a project to develop a training programme designed to meet the educational needs of carers of people with dementia following a diagnosis. The training programme will provide participants with the knowledge, skills and psychological resources they need to enable them to live well with dementia, to know where and when to access resources and support and for carers to know how to ensure they remain well themselves throughout the caring journey.
What Works, a research study led by Professor Surr, in collaboration with the University of Bradford and the University of Leeds, is currently investigating what components lead to the most effective approaches to training health and social care staff about dementia.
Speaking about the Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia 2020, Professor Surr said: “Improving the lives of people affected by dementia lies at the heart of our dementia-focused work here at the University. The inclusion of two of our projects in the implementation plan recognises the importance of our partnership work with the Department of Health and the contribution Leeds Beckett University is making to the Prime Minister’s Challenge and its commitment that the UK will be the best place in the world for dementia care, support, research and awareness.”
Professor Surr has over 15 years’ experience in the field conducting applied research, teaching and undertaking knowledge-transfer activities, with a focus on quality of care in care homes and workforce training and education programmes. She is currently leading a £2.4 million study funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Technology Assessment Programme. The study is a multi-centre cluster randomised controlled trial exploring the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of Dementia Care Mapping, an observational practice development tool, for supporting staff to deliver enhanced person-centred care to people with dementia in care homes.
Professor Surr’s recently completed studies include evaluation of a cascade training programme in dementia for acute hospital staff and an evaluation of the impact of tuneable lighting on care home residents and staff.
Photo used courtesy of Dr Cathy Greenblat