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Dementia care and service delivery research

Our applied dementia care and service delivery research is informing national and international understanding of ways in which care for people with dementia and their families can be improved. We have a range of global research partnerships, which have developed from our growing portfolio of dementia research.

Our research includes a number of major projects funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and Department of Health Policy research programme (DH PRP) as well as commissioned research and evaluations funded by organisations such as Bupa and On Our Radar. Whilst conducting research in a variety of areas of dementia care and service delivery, team members have particular expertise in care homes research, hospitals research, evaluation of complex interventions, dementia training and education design and evaluation of its efficacy, care home staff support needs and well-being, pain assessment and management and cultural issues in dementia assessment and diagnosis. The team also undertake a range of enterprise activities related to dementia care and service delivery.

Our dementia research includes applied dementia care and service delivery and biomedical sciences research.

Dementia Awareness Week 2017 Right Arrow Dementia Awareness Week 2016 Right Arrow

Featured Research

What Works?
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'What Works' in dementia education and training for NHS staff.*
EPIC Trial
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EPIC Trial – enhancing person centred care in Care homes.

Academic Team

Published Research

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Research Projects

Plus Icon Independent Evaluation of 'Dementia Diaries'
‘Dementia Diaries’ is a national series of audio diaries that document the day-to-day lives of people living with dementia. Using 3D printed mobile phones to send regular audio updates, the network sharing their honest experiences in hope to prompt a richer dialogue and a better understanding of dementia, in all its diversity. We have been commissioned by On Our Radar to conduct an evaluation of the impact of the ‘Dementia Diaries’ project.


Project lead: Dr James Woodall
Plus Icon Evaluating the impact of tuneable lighting on the health and job satisfaction of care home staff
Natural daylight has many reported benefits for health. Exposure to natural daylight, it has been suggested, may support reduction of behaviours such as agitation in people living with dementia and improve sleep. A major care provider organisation has piloted fitting lighting that is tuneable to reflect patterns of brightness and colour of natural daylight into care home settings. A previous study we conducted suggested such lighting may have a negative impact on staff health and feelings about work. This study is designed to assess whether modifications to the tuneable lighting system have made a difference to these outcomes for staff.

Project lead: Prof Claire Surr.
Plus Icon A multi-site evaluation of the Person, Interactions and Environment (PIE) tool to improve person-centred care for people with dementia admitted to acute hospital wards. National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Service Delivery Organisation (SDO).
Care quality is unacceptably low for people with dementia in acute hospitals. As part of a national audit of care received by people with dementia in general hospitals (England and Wales) 2011, we developed a qualitative observational tool called PIE (to look at the Person, their Interactions with staff and the immediate Environment). Although the PIE tool was demonstrated as useful and feasible to assess existing practice, translating action planning at ward level to effect practice and organisational change was not examined; and neither has the PIE programme s impact on the care experience of patients, their families/ caregivers and staff, or on patients health outcomes. The overall objective of this research is to implement and evaluate the PIE tool and linked change process (PIE programme) to improve person-centred care for people with dementia in general hospital wards. This is independent research funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Service Delivery Organisation (SDO).

Project Lead: Prof John Young, Bradford Institute for Health Research. Co-investigator: Prof Claire Surr.

Our Research Students

Mollie Price: Understanding and addressing the psychosocial support needs and wellbeing of informal caregivers of patients with cancer and comorbid dementia.
Director of Studies: Dr Laura Ashley
Supervisors: Prof Claire Surr, Prof Brendan Gough


Martin Neal: Nurses’ use of validation therapy techniques with dementia patients in NHS mental health settings: prevalence, nature, perceived benefits, challenges and facilitators
Director of Studies: Prof Michelle Briggs
Supervisors: Dr Laura Ashley, Prof Claire Surr

Biomedical Research

Biomedical Research Centre

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*What Works image courtesy of Dr. Cathy Greentblat Love, Loss and Laughter ©

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