Yesterday I trundled to see my favourite species – students at Bradford University. This time I was there as an Alzheimers Society Research Network monitor for the DCT (can’t remember what DCT stands for – hate acronyms 🙄)……….
Anyway some of the PhD students were there to give us an update and presentation of their work so far.
It was a strange start to the day as my legs and brain had obviously had an argument and weren’t talking to one another…..at the station I even had people helping me on the train and the guard showed me to a seat, so I must have looked a tad discombobulated and legs and body out of sync😳🙈……..there’s no routine for the necessity of early rises and train journeys at the mo, so maybe that was it…….I’m also a bit doped up with tablets at the mo, so that could be another reason……who knows………maybe they’ll make up and talk to one another soon 🙄
Anyway the trains behaved in the beginning and I’m typing this on the second train to Leeds.
The sky looked almost playful as we trundled along the Humber
I arrived in Bradford amazingly on time, and wobbled my way up the hill to the Uni where I found Sandra, Barbara and Jackie in the cafe and Vivien joined us in the room …….The students were all ready and waiting with their supervisors all ready too and Paul had the first slide up on the screen
After a cuppa tea, catch ups and hugs, we were ready to start……
Barbara started the meeting and we introduced ourselves. Students, Helen, Angela Suzanne and Paul were the ones under the spotlight today. We celebrated Courtney’s and Denise passing of their PhD – amazing………both were sadly not there as they’re now working!
We suggested they make a mini podcast on film giving us an update of what they’re doing now😊
Murna then spoke about a possible celebration and dissemination event in July to celebrate their graduation.
Paul was the first to present an update – his study is on how people with dementia manage their medicines at home with the help of community pharmacists………
In the literature there is little in relation to medicines management particularly of those living alone…..
So this formed the basis for the questions for his project…..he will be gathering information from people with dementia on attitudes, challenges, routines and strategies, Types of support and what would help……..
And then ask the same questions of pharmacists……
I asked the stupid question “What is a Community Pharmacist’……..I hadn’t realised there were basically 3 types, Hospital Pharmacists, Pharmacists attached to Gp practices, and Community pharmacists (the normal high street pharmacists)
Sometimes it’s the simple things that help……for example medication in liquid form than tablets. I mentioned the importance of colour – if I needed 1 familiar pink one, that stood out, then giving me 2 white ones won’t help…..
Suzanne was up next……her study is on investigation the quality of medication management when moving from care home to hospital and back again.
It will hopefully inform improvement into the practice and influence policy.
She’s looking at policies in the hospital and care home – their roles and responsibilities at transition points between the 2 establishments.
There seems to be so much confusion about best practice around medicines and transition between care home and hospital and in reverse…
The question was raised around responsibility when someone with dementia is admitted to hospital – should someone from the care home go with them? But is that practical if the person maybe in A&E for 10 hours or something. Who is accountable for information transfer? It’s the tiny detail that makes the difference between someone taking medication and someone not.
It’s not just a list of drugs that’s needed, it’s the finer detail about the person themselves that’s useful to know.
Paul gave the quote of the day……“Without responsibility there’s no accountability”
Lunch and cuppa tea time and the students gave me a belated birthday card……🥰🥰🥰
Third up after lunch was Angela who is looking at the nurses role in transition between hospital and care home paying particular interest in the discharge process.
Her main questions are around roles and responsibility and the barriers and facilitators for implementing these roles.
She is gathering both perspectives from nurses and care home staff about what is their role when someone with dementia is being discharged back to the care home.
She found a lot of variation in practice around information exchange. Lots of tensions within the system.
The one side don’t understand the others practices … there’s no joined up working sadly. IT systems don’t talk to one another which are big barriers to helping good practice.
I said how hospital managers and Care home managers and Pharmacists, need to be invited to hear the outcomes of all these projects. They need to be made to look silly as they won’t believe the staff on the ground have the problems they have. No good having the staff as they can’t make the change but managers should be made accountable for such rubbish and disjointed systems. They should have a job swap for a day…..hospital nurses have very little knowledge of what goes on in a care home. They don’t see how they are all one big team. There’s a cultural issue of how care homes are viewed.
Finally Helen gave us an update about her project. Talking to women who lived on their own when diagnosed but not necessarily now. She is doing it through narrative research, so gaining valuable information through conversations. However, she found it so difficult to gain interviews because, she thought, of racism and gatekeepers. It’s about people attitudes and assumptions. Dementia has silenced a lot of people as gatekeeping comes into play. The mental capacity act is being used to stop people doing things instead of enabling. She has only been able to get women through word of mouth. No other method has worked for her.
From all I heard there was soooo many examples of why I never want to go in a care home…..or into hospital……….
At the end me, Sandra and Viv met with Prof Jan and Prof Murna to discuss the meeting from the perspective of the Alzheimers society research network monitors……..just so we could complete our feedback form.
Needless to say we were well impressed as we always are here at Bradford. Seeing the students eyes light up when they speak with such enthusiasm is a joy……….wonderful…..