Yesterday saw me trundling to one of my favourite places – Bradford University. It was for an event organised by Penny Kirk, Quality Improvement Manager for the Yorkshire and Humber Clinical Network for Dementia (I think! Long name badge required!)
I met Penny via the wonderful world of Twitter eons ago and have been twitter friends ever since.
The title of the event was “Bridging the Gap to Evidence-based Dementia Care” Tickets sold out very quickly for the day, so it was nice to be expecting a full house. It was to celebrate everything being done in the Yorkshire and Humber area around dementia research.
The day didn’t start off well as my taxi was late😳but it’s amazing how quickly he can get there at silly o’clock…..
This journey was taking me on a different route to Bradford as I had to change at Selby instead of Leeds 😳very weird….and it being dark, made it hard to see where I was….but all turned out fine as my next train was waiting opposite …..and I just happened to notice straight away….👍
I arrived to be met by a much needed cuppa tea and then sat chatting to some lovely people, including the organiser, Penny and Sarah, who sorted out all my travel.
Once we made our way down to the auditorium, it was the lovely Professor Murna Downs from Bradford who welcomed everyone..
Dr Kev Smith, deputy director, healthcare, public health England for York’s & Humber was the chair for the morning…
The aim of the day was for all the researchers to meet one another and find out about what’s going on in our region and about what projects they’re all involved with.
Dr Gregor Russell was the first to speak – a consultant psychiatrist.
He spoke about the gaps and problems in research and the importance of relevant research.
So many things would help bridge this gap – cross agency engagement, engagement of staff in clinical settings, resources, and knowledge of what’s actually been researched.
That was a good start….
My turn on why I like being involved in research. I spoke of the importance of researchers considering the language they use and the value of being involved, amongst other things. I also said:
“We have to normalise talking about research and to do this we must have Gps and other healthcare professionals, like district nurses or OTs, physics, all coming on board. These are often the very people we see most often. To normalise talking about research would normalise involvement.”
It seemed to go down well. During the whole morning, a cartoonist had been busy drawing away and all his work was displayed on the walls…me included😂😂😂😂
Ray Carver then spoke about her husband who has Fronto-temperal, who was diagnosed at 52 and is now in a Care Home. She spoke of the lack of age appropriate services and lack of understanding. “There’s only so many knock backs you can take when trying to get services before you give up”. – something I know very well…..
Now it was the turn for Paul Carder – head of research for the 10’CCGs.with a title of ‘Research, So What?’
He said that in the NHS we speak a language unknown to you so maybe we need a common language………
Cascading is not a strong point of health professionals so it’s important to get local opinion leaders to influence their colleagues.
He said that anything researchers come to talk to us about, must relate back to what we’re trying achieve as there’s competing demands for money – tell us in a way that will help us plan our service.
Sadly for me, that sounded a very one way conversation. If healthcare professionals worked with researchers more readily on an equal footing, then the relationships would be there…..and it would be a two way conversation…..not impressed…
Kathryn Lord was next – a new dementia researcher at Bradford, talking about the START project and MODEM. We need to provide the best evidence for commissioners and MODEM aims to do this.
It has its own web site – with a dementia evidence toolkit and summaries of themes. It asks does it work and is it cost effective. And what’s the strength of the evidence.
START is promoting the mental wellbeing of carers.strategies for relatives. The intervention is now recommended by NICE. The Alzheimers society gave them a dissemination grant because even though the evidence said it worked, no one was using it.
After a much needed cuppa, it was the turn of more talks. Bur before I went back, I spotted a poster with photos of all the research team from my area, including my daughter, Gemma, so had to take a piccie…
Professor Jo Cooke was next, deputy director and capacity lead for CLAHRC – it covers the whole of Yorks and Humber.
She spoke of an interesting research project at Sheffield on Young Onset Dementia by James McKewan I think – but she changed slides too quickly for me to get the information…..
She also spoke about a travel project but again I wasn’t quick enough to get a picture of the slide…..😔
The director of research in RDaSH Rotherham, Doncaster and south Humber then spoke of the rise of this area in research over the last 3 years.
He explained how they’d done it – board support is paramount, demedicalise the image of research, all professional groups of your organisation must be represented – nothing I havn’t been saying for ages, but they seem to be putting their thoughts into action, which was nice to hear………
Chris Rhymes and Penny Kirk were the final session before lunch.
Penny was very clever in saying she will be putting the slides on line but people will only get the slides if they do the evaluation form on line first – very clever Penny.
Sadly I was going to miss all the afternoon workshops as I needed to get home before it got dark …………..but I had a lovely time…
However, I couldn’t resist a photo with Rosie and Daniel from my region before I left though……..😊
P.s I learnt a brilliant new fact today, given to me by the lovely Alys Griffith
I was diagnosed on Harry Potters birthday! – now I’ll have to get that into a few talks……