Research programmes led by Professor Claire Goodman and Professor Frances Bunn seek to provide evidence-based recommendations for improving the quality of life and care of people living with dementia and those living in care homes.
Nearly half a million people live in care homes in the UK; 70 per cent of them have dementia. The vast majority of care homes rely on the NHS for access to medical and specialist care, which can be provided by as many as 27 different NHS services.
Finding that healthcare provision to care home residents is 'erratic and inequitable', the NIHR-funded Optimal study, led by University of Hertfordshire, set out to establish consensus among care home management and staff, NHS practitioners and policymakers on how the NHS and care homes can work better together to improve healthcare delivery.
Read the policy briefing: Towards better healthcare in care homes.
In the UK people living with dementia have, on average, around five chronic medical conditions, such as stroke, diabetes or visual impairment, in addition to their dementia.
The CoDem study found people with dementia and comorbidity have poorer access to healthcare services than those without dementia, with little communication between different teams and specialities, and a lack of continuity of care. Researchers identified a set of practical, deliverable policy interventions that can make an immediate impact.
Read the policy briefing: Improving healthcare for people with dementia and comorbidity