“What Works?” Project

On Wednesday I was at Leeds Beckett University for a project management group meeting for the “What Works” project. It’s a collaboration between Leeds Beckett, Leeds and Bradford Universities. The Advisory Group was also scheduled to meet today and that meeting was due to happen straight after – perfect, although I don’t remember attending that before………

Professor Claire Surr chairs the meeting. The title “What Works” refers to what training delivers the best outcomes around dementia. The aim is to identify what training, if any is given to staff within many areas of healthcare – Acute Trusts, non acute trusts, primary care, pharmacists, care homes etc. with the intention of identifying the best practice training which could be adopted by all.

The meeting alternates between Leeds and Bradford and this was my first at Leeds. For once the Humber wasn’t shrouded in dull damp and grey murk.


As daylight started to appear it revealed a lovely sunrise amidst all the flooded fields….


I was doing fine for time until we got just outside Leeds when everything came to a halt……….grrrrrr……….we then sat at the end of the platform with the doors firmly closed….there’d been an incident just the other side of Leeds that had suspended all the services towards Manchester…….
We finally had our doors opened at 8.50 and my meeting started at 9 so from having 30 mins to spare I had 10 mins……Luckily I knew where the building was so I made my way there but then had to give Claire a call to come and find me as no one was on reception to help me find my way round the warren of corridors ….

Sarah Smith from Bradford joined us by SKYPE

The project involves 3 work packages –

• Paper review of evidence of training available
• National survey of providers and individuals trained
• In depth case studies in up to 12 sites across health and social care that those that look like they are exemplar sites – what are the ingredients that make it successful that

There are 3 tiers of training. Tier 1 is basic awareness training around dementia
Tier 2 and 3 involves more in depth training around making a difference.

They’re at the data gathering stage at the moment where organisations have been asked to provide a list of training they deliver with regards to dementia. This has been done on line and they’ve been using Twitter as one means of contacting organisations and individuals!
It will be really interesting to see a geographical map of where the responses have come from which Sahdia is putting together for the next meeting. Case studies will start with Acute Trusts, non acute trusts and then smaller organisation.

The choice of sites and the process of interviewing sounds fascinating – interviewing staff who have gone through the training to see what they thought of it and the facilitator in depth and interviewing patients with dementia and carers on whether they thought the person had the relative level of knowledge etc –  another example of a  time when I wish I was a researcher…..

Details of the web site and ways to find out more can be found  below:


Twitter – @whatworksstudy


The Advisory panel joined us at 11 and were filled in on the progress so far and asked for their thoughts so far so it enabled me to hear it a second time….. This group is made up of many people from many specialities. I got this group muddled with PPI involvement so it took me a while to work out what was going on…..
It was amazing how much clearer everything became after hearing it for a second time in quick succession……….just not sure I was suppose to be at that bit………….

Ate the end I waited for Sahdia and a couple of others to help find my way out. Once I recognised where I was I left them as they were going out a different way which didn’t look familiar…….it was lovely to see everyone again…….

The Humber Bridge always looks nicer on the train home……….🛤🚉


About wendy7713

On the 31st July 2014 I was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s. I may not have much of a short term memory anymore but that date is one I’ll never forget. I’m 58 years young, live happily alone in Yorkshire, have 2 daughters and I’m currently still in full time employment in the NHS. However, I’m now in the process of taking early retirement to give me a chance of enjoying life while I’m still me. I've started this blog to allow me, in the first instance, to write all my thoughts before they’re lost. If anyone chooses to follow my ramblings it will serve as a way of raising awareness on the lack of research into Alzheimer's. It will hopefully convey the helplessness of those diagnosed with dementia, as there is no cure – the end is inevitable. However, I’m also hoping I can convey that, although we've been diagnosed, people like me still have a substantial contribution to make; we still have a sense of humour; we sill have feelings. I’m hoping to show the reality of trying to cope on a day to day basis with the ever-changing environment that dementia throws at those diagnosed with the condition. What I want is not sympathy. What I want is simply to raise awareness.

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