Research study to help shape future of dementia care

 A study, which will shape the future of education and training around dementia within the NHS, has been launched by health researchers at three Yorkshire universities.

Adult son out for a walk with his father, who has alzheimers disease.
The research team, led by Claire Surr, Professor of Dementia Studies at Leeds Beckett University, alongside collaborators from the University of Bradford and the University of Leeds, will investigate the most effective approaches to training health and social care staff about dementia.

Results from the study will help ensure that money is invested in effective training that supports better care for people with dementia.

The study, the ‘What Works? Evaluation’, is funded by the Department of Health’s Policy Research Programme on behalf of Health Education England and is due to be completed in July 2017.

Speaking about the launch of the study, Professor Claire Surr said:  “Providing high quality care for people with dementia relies on knowledgeable and skilled staff. Research shows that effective education and training can, lead to better quality care. However, we also know not all training is effective, meaning it is wasting time and money. We need to know more about what effective dementia training, looks like and this research will provide the field with good evidence about the ingredients needed for effective dementia training.”

The ‘What Works?’ study will involve a survey to gather data on existing dementia training programmes. The researchers will then conduct more detailed research on selected programmes to look at how effective they are and identify ways they can be improved. They will then work with a number of organisations to implement the best training programmes they have identified to see which produce the best outcomes for people with dementia and provide the best value for money.

Professor Jan Oyebode from the University of Bradford added: “Dementia and dementia education finally have the profile and attention they deserve. We are heartened that Health Education England are putting money into this rigorous, in-depth evaluation of training, and at Bradford we are very pleased to be playing a central role in this, along with Professor Surr.”

The results of the research study will be used to develop policy and commissioning guidelines for use by the Government, Health Education England and Local Education and Training Boards (LETBs), alongside good practice guidelines for health and social care organisations and education and training providers.

David Meads, Associate Professor in Health Economics in the School of Medicine at the University of Leeds, said: “In the future, the research will help us to better understand which aspects of training and education programmes represent value for money. By diverting resources away from less effective programmes and towards more effective ones, the skills of dementia carers will be enhanced and better care and outcomes will follow for people with dementia.”

Professor David Sallah of Health Education England said: “Health Education England is committed to ensuring that the diagnosis, treatment and care of people with dementia in England should be among the best in Europe. We are particularly interested in knowing whether and how education and training is having a positive impact on staff attitudes, skills and behaviours; and delivering better outcomes for people living with dementia and their carers.” We are delighted to be working with Professor Claire Surr and colleagues to assess the effectiveness of our dementia education and training programme”.

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Good luck to Sally Kay, FFHT, FHT Expert Adviser and Excellence in Practice Award Winner, who will be giving a lecture about reflexology for the management of lymphoedema at the 8th European Conference of Reflexology in Madeira on 11 May. Sally has also been invited to run a breakout session at The Christie’s 15th Clinical Reflexology Conference (Palliative and End of Life Care) in Manchester on 17 May.

Read about Sally’s reflexology research here

Just 1 in 20 Britons drink recommended water amounts on hot holidays

New research looking into the holiday behaviour of Britons when abroad by an online travel agency in the UK has revealed that just 1 in 10 Britons drink the recommended amount of water during a hot break overseas; with the majority incorrectly assuming that caffeinated fizzy drinks or alcohol keep them well hydrated.

A new study by an online travel agency in the UK has revealed that Britons may not be drinking enough water whilst on a hot holiday abroad, despite risks of dehydration and sun stroke on these types of holidays.

www.sunshine.co.uk conducted the poll as part of ongoing research into the behaviour of Britons whilst on holiday overseas. 1,672 UK adults took part in the poll and all respondents had been on a hot holiday overseas in the last 12 months. Those taking part were asked to answer questions about their eating and drinking habits on holiday.

With the general recommendation being to drink 8 glasses of water per day (around 1.9litres) in normal circumstances, but more usually required in a hot environment, respondents were asked to estimate how much water they drank per day on their last holiday abroad. The average answer stated by those taking part was ‘1 litre’ (52%).

Just 9% of those taking part, almost 1 in 10, claimed that they drank the recommended 8 glasses of water or more per day on their last holiday abroad. Anyone that didn’t drink the recommended amount was asked why they didn’t, to which the most common answers were as follows:

  • Drank caffeinated fizzy drinks to keep hydrated – 27%
  • Drank alcohol to keep hydrated – 22%
  • Forgot – 19%
  • Didn’t feel like I needed it – 15%
  • Couldn’t afford to keep buying it – 9%

All respondents that didn’t drink the recommended amount of water on holiday were asked if they thought they had suffered as a result, to which 48% admitted that they had subsequently ‘felt ill’.

Chris Clarkson, Managing Director of sunshine.co.uk, said the following:

“The 8 glasses of water rule is just a rough guideline for everyday life, but people need to remember that the hot weather on holiday can make you sweat more and therefore make you more dehydrated. As a result, a higher water intake is needed and with alcohol and caffeinated drinks being well known diuretics, they just won’t do the same job as water when it comes to hydration.

“I’d hate to think of anyone ruining their holiday just by not drinking enough water. It’s common sense to have a bottle of water on you at all times when holidaying in a hot country, but just remember that mineral water is the way forward in most places, so don’t always go drinking from the tap!”

Image: iStockphoto

Natural England’s report highlights equal access to the natural environment

A new report published by Natural England looks at how five different social groups engage with the natural environment in England, including people living in urban deprived areas; the elderly (65+); those with physical disabilities or mental health illness; and people from black, Asian and minority ethnic [BAME] communities.

Natural England is committed to increasing the number and range of people who can experience and benefit from the natural environment. Through their ‘Outdoors for All’ programme, they are leading the Government’s ambition that ‘everyone should have fair access to a good quality natural environment’.

Read more here.

Image: 123RF