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Professor Claire Surr

About Professor Claire Surr

Claire Surr is Professor of Dementia Studies. She has over 20 years’ experience conducting applied research, teaching and enterprise activities, with a focus on dementia workforce education and training and approaches to improving the quality of formal dementia care.

Claire has engaged in a range of research, enterprise and teaching activities in the field of dementia care. She is currently leading a number of major research projects related to dementia workforce and practice development. 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.

Claire has led a range of major knowledge transfer programmes including the development and delivery of bespoke cascade training programmes for major care home providers and working with national and international regulators of care services in developing and implementing the Short Observational Framework for Inspection (SOFI 2) – an observational tool used in the inspection of care homes and hospitals.

Claire has extensive experience in delivering distance learning education on dementia care to health and social care staff. She pioneered a number of teaching and learning approaches within the field including the use of Web2 technologies such as social media sites and Skype to enhance student engagement and the direct involvement of people living with dementia in teaching and formative student assessment. She was recognised for her innovative teaching and learning approaches and leadership, through award of a prestigious National Teaching Fellowship in 2014.

Current Teaching

Supervision of Masters dissertations and doctoral students.

Transforming dementia care: "Our goal is to help people with dementia and their families experience a better quality of life" - Professor Claire Surr - School of Health and Community Studies

Research Interests

Claire is leading the Enhancing Person-Centred Care In Care Homes (EPIC) trial; a four-year study looking at whether Dementia Care Mapping (DCM) is effective and cost effective for helping care home staff to deliver person-centred care to residents with dementia. DCM is an observational tool that helps trained staff (called mappers) to look at the experience of care from the point of view of the person with dementia and then to feed this information back to the whole staff team, who then work together to create action plans for improvements. Three cycles of DCM will be completed as part of the study. Data will be collected on whether resident agitation and other distressed behaviours are reduced, if quality of life is improved and whether there are any reductions in use of anti-psychotic and other medications or reductions in hospitalisations. The study will also look at staff knowledge about dementia and satisfaction in their work. The study is independent research funded by the National Institute for Health Research Health Technology Assessment Programme (NIHR HTA).

Claire is leading research evaluating the most effective approaches to dementia training and education for the health and social care workforce (What Works? study). The study involves undertaking an evidence review of international literature on dementia training and education and conducting national surveys to find out about current models and approaches to dementia training and education and their impact on staff knowledge and attitudes about dementia. The final phase of the study involves conducting 12 in-depth care studies in organisations where training appears to be particularly successful in order to understand the ingredients that make this possible. The study is independent research funded by the Department of Health Policy Research Programme (DH PRP).

Claire is collaborating on a range of other studies including research examining whether an observation tool called the Person-Interactions-Environment (PIE) tool can help staff in hospitals to provide better care to people with dementia; a Dutch study investigating the applicability of Dementia Care Mapping for use in people with a learning disability and dementia; and a study exploring the impact of the Dementia Diaries project.

Selected Publications

Journal articles (15)

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