Professor Claire Surr, Professor

Professor Claire Surr


Professor Claire Surr is Professor of Dementia Studies and Director of the Centre for Dementia Research at Leeds Beckett University. Her research addresses care and support for people living with dementia and those who care for them. She has particular interest in social care, with a focus on care homes and the design, implementation and evaluation of interventions to support delivery of person-centred care. She is also involved in a team conducting a portfolio of work on the experiences and care of people who have both dementia and cancer.

Claire is internationally recognised for her research and academic leadership around dementia education and training for the health and social care workforce, having led a national study examining the factors associated with effective training design, delivery and implementation. The findings are embedded within UK and international governmental and practice guidance on dementia education and training and are being implemented in the design and delivery of dementia training by health and social care providers globally. She is the funding panel Chair for the Research Programme for Social Care, part of the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR). Prior to this she has been a member of NIHR Research for Patient Benefit Yorkshire and the Humber, NIHR Research for Social Care and the Alzheimer’s Society funding panels.

Claire is a member of Nurturing Innovation in Care Home Excellence in Leeds (NICHE Leeds) a care home research initiative based on the ‘Living Lab’ model. NICHE Leeds is a partnership between academia (Universities of Leeds and Leeds Beckett) and care homes, which brings together practice and research expertise to identify and prioritise research questions and to work in partnership to research what might help.

Current Teaching

Claire's role includes the supervision of doctoral students and undertaking teaching in dementia and research methods across a range of university modules and subjects.

Research Interests

Claire is internationally recognised for her research on dementia workforce education and training, which has included development of gold standards for the design and delivery of dementia training. They have been adopted nationally and internationally within guidance and policy on this topic.

As an educator, Claire has been recognised for her innovative teaching and learning approaches and leadership. She is was awarded a prestigious National Teaching Fellowship in 2014 and is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, in recognition of her strategic leadership in the field.

Claire has spent her career undertaking research to support the delivery of person-centred care to people with dementia living in care homes. She is particularly interested in interventions to support care home staff in their role and methods for evaluating their impact, within what are complex environments for conducting research. Her research is contributing to improving care home care for people with dementia and the methods and approaches used to conduct research in care homes.

More recently, Claire been part of a Leeds Beckett team that have developed a portfolio of research about cancer care for people with dementia. Studies completed and ongoing cover the range of service settings in which cancer care may be provided and care across the cancer trajectory. This research is leading the field in this area of multiple-long terms conditions and has developed practice recommendations that are currently being implemented in NHS oncology departments and hospital sites.

Professor Claire Surr, Professor

Ask Me About

  1. Care homes
  2. Long-term care
  3. Social care
  4. Ageing
  5. Dementia
  6. Health

Selected Outputs

  • Educate North and UK Leadership Awards – Research team of the Year (EPIC Trial)2017
  • Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy2016
  • National Teaching Fellow2014
  • University of Bradford Research and Knowledge Transfer Awards, Business Innovation Category: Highly Commended2011
  • National Institute for Health Research, Research for Patient Benefit : Yorkshire and the North East Funding Panel Member
  • Alzheimer’s Funding Board
  • National Institute for Health Research, Research for Social Care Funding : Panel Member
  • Sporting Memories Foundation : Patron
  • Journal of Dementia Care : Advisory Board Member
  • Caring Dementia Care in Care Homes

    Dementia Research Charity Chatathon - online

    Recorded at the Dementia Research Charity #Chatathon 2022 - Adam Smith interviews Professor Claire Surr, Professor of Dementia Studies at Leeds Beckett University and Dr Victoria Shepherd, Senior Research Fellow, Cardiff University.

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  • Leeds Beckett Research To Be Shared In Top Alzheimer Report

    The Carer - online

    Professor Claire Surr, from the Centre for Dementia Research, School of Health, led the team who carried out the research: “Having staff with the knowledge and skills to deliver good dementia care is a priority and research has shown that education and training can help staff feel more confident about dementia care and improve their knowledge and skills, which can lead to better care. Our research identifies the approaches to training design and delivery that lead to staff having the right knowledge, attitudes, and approaches to delivering dementia care and the best outcomes for people with dementia and their families.

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  • How can we best support those with dementia and cancer

    Leeds Church Institute - online

    Today’s podcast is taken from our recent event for people who live or work with those diagnosed with dementia. Professor Claire Surr presents the finding of a study that the Department of Dementia Studies at Leeds Met University recently completed looking at the support needs of people with dementia who also have cancer. This is an area that has been under-researched, despite the fact that there are a lot of people living with both conditions.

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  • Culture Change and Dementia Care: Why The Two Should be Intertwined

    Elder - online

    Claire Surr is Professor of Dementia Studies at Leeds Beckett University and set up the Leeds Beckett Dementia Centre. She has been involved in dementia research for over 20 years – focusing on the challenges of dementia workforce education and training to improve the quality of dementia care. We talked to her about the importance of tailored training and culture change for effective dementia care and how to make sure a workplace is truly inclusive to those with cognitive impairments.

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  • Dilemma of Dementia

    Asian Lite International - online

    Of the many health challenges we face, dementia is a rapidly growing area of concern for the person affected, their family and the NHS too. The Centre for Dementia Research at Leeds Beckett University established in 2017 and ably led by Professor Claire Surr includes a team of members from a wide range of subject areas including health, psychology, the arts and media, education, computing and sport.

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  • Shifting the Culture of Care

    Dementia Connections Blog - online

    While attending the University of Bradford in the UK, Claire Surr studied under Dr. Tom Kitwood, who pioneered the concept of person-centred dementia care. Now a researcher who has specialized in dementia care for her entire career and currently working out of Leeds Beckett University, Surr focuses on high-quality education of the dementia care workforce so that they can best deliver individualized person-centred care to people with dementia.

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  • International Audience for Leeds Beckett Dementia Research

    Psychreg - online

    Speaking about the study, Professor Surr said: ‘Until recently there was no mandatory requirement for health and social care professionals (e.g,. nurses) to have any dementia specific training, despite the high prevalence of people with dementia using health and social care services – 1 in 4 patients on general hospital wards have dementia.

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  • Study will examine experience of people who have dementia and cancer

    Nursing Standard - online

    A leading dementia researcher has received a 155,000 grant to examine ways to improve cancer treatment and care for people who have both cancer and dementia. Leeds Beckett University professor of dementia studies Claire Surr will lead a team of researchers to profile the size and demographics of the population of people with cancer and dementia from a large dataset of GP records.

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  • Study into dementia and cancer care

    Yorkshire Evening Post - print

    The Leeds Beckett team is led by Claire Surr, the university’s Professor of Dementia Studies. Prof Surr said: “Cancer and dementia are conditions that affect many older people, and the little research we have suggests many may have both conditions, however we don’t currently have any accurate figures on the size of the population or their experiences.”

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  • Tool launched to reduce ‘variability’ in dementia training quality

    Nursing Times - online

    The research team was led by Professor Claire Surr, from Leeds Beckett, with colleagues from the University of Bradford and the University of Leeds. Professor Surr said: “There has been a strong agenda around making sure we have an informed and effective dementia care workforce for a number of years and a huge drive, therefore, to increase staff training in that area.

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  • Perfect D; Griffiths AW; Vasconcelos Da Silva M; Lemos Dekker N; McDermid J; Surr C (In press) Collecting self-report data with people with dementia: Benefits, challenges, and best-practice. Dementia

  • Parveen S; Smith S; Sass C; Oyebode J; Capstick A; Dennison A; Surr C (2021) The impact of dementia education and training on health and social care staff knowledge, attitudes and confidence: A cross-sectional study. BMJ Open, 11

  • Ashley L; Kelley R; Griffiths A; Cowdell F; Henry A; Inman H; Hennell J; Ogden M; Walsh M; Jones L (2020) Understanding and identifying ways to improve hospital-based cancer care and treatment for people with dementia: an ethnographic study. Age and Ageing

  • Surr C; Griffiths A; Kelley R; Ashley L; Cowdell F; Henry A; Inman H; Collinson M; Mason E; Farrin AJ (2020) Navigating cancer treatment and care when living with comorbid dementia: an ethnographic study. Supportive Care in Cancer

  • Surr CA; Holloway I; Walwyn REA; Griffiths A; Meads D; Kelley R; Martin A; McLellan V; Ballard C; Fossey J (2020) Dementia Care Mapping™ to reduce agitation in care home residents with dementia: The DCM™ EPIC cluster randomised controlled trial. Health Technology Assessment, 24 (16), pp. 1-172.

  • Martin A; Griffiths AW; Meads D; Surr C (2019) How should we capture health state utility in dementia? Comparisons of DEMQOL-Proxy-U and of self- and proxy-completed EQ-5D-5L. Value in Health, 22 (12), pp. 1417-1426.

  • Griffiths AW; Surr C; Alldred D; Baker J; Higham R; Spilsbury K; Thompson C (2019) Pro re nata prescribing and administration for neuropsychiatric symptoms and pain in long-term care residents with dementia and memory problems: a cross-sectional study. International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy, 41 (5), pp. 1314-1322.

  • Price ML; Surr CA; Gough B; Ashley L (2019) Experiences and support needs of informal caregivers of people with multimorbidity: a scoping literature review. Psychology and Health

  • Surr CA; Griffiths A; Kelley R; Holloway I; Walwyn REA; Martin A; McDermid J; Chenoweth L; Farrin AJ (2019) The implementation of Dementia Care MappingTM in a randomised controlled trial in long-term care: results of a process evaluation. American Journal of Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementias, 34 (6), pp. 390-398.

  • Griffiths AW; Albertyn C; Burnley N; Creese B; Walwyn R; Holloway I; Safarikova J; Surr C (2019) Validation of the Cohen-Mansfield Agitation Inventory Observational (CMAI-O) Tool. International Psychogeriatrics

  • Griffiths A; Kelley R; Garrod L; Perfect D; Robinson O; Shoesmith E; McDermid J; Burnley N; Surr CA (2019) Barriers and facilitators to implementing Dementia Care Mapping in Care Homes: Results from the DCM EPIC Trial process evaluation. BMC Geriatrics, 19

  • Surr CA; Sass C; Burnley N; Drury M; Smith S; Parveen S; Burden S; Oyebode J (2018) Components of impactful dementia training for general hospital staff: a collective case study. Aging and Mental Health

  • Surr CA; Gates C (2017) What works in delivering dementia education or training to hospital staff? A critical synthesis of the evidence. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 75 pp. 172-188.

  • Surr CA; Gates C; Irving D; Oyebode J; Smith SJ; Parveen S; Drury M; Dennison A (2017) Effective Dementia Education and Training for the Health and Social Care Workforce: A Systematic Review of the Literature. Review of Educational Research, 87 (5), pp. 966-1002.

  • Surr CA; Smith SJ; Crossland J; Robins J (2016) Impact of a person-centred dementia care training programme on hospital staff attitudes, role efficacy and perceptions of caring for people with dementia: A repeated measures study. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 53 pp. 144-151.

  • Leigh AJ; O'hanlon K; Sheldrick R; Surr C; Hare DJ (2014) Care mapping in clinical neuroscience settings: Cognitive impairment and dependency. Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, 25 (4), pp. 574-592.

  • Jones S; Hamilton J; Surr C (2014) Dementia care mapping: Building up a bigger picture. Journal of Dementia Care, 22 (6), pp. 19-21.

  • Westbrook JL; McIntosh CJ; Sheldrick R; Surr C; Hare DJ (2013) Validity of Dementia Care Mapping on a neuro-rehabilitation ward: Q-methodology with staff and patients. Disability and Rehabilitation, 35 (19), pp. 1652-1659.