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University of Bradford in key role to revolutionise dementia care research

Published: Fri 23 Jun 2017

The University of Bradford is to take part in a major research project that will enable expert researchers to create 'Centres of Excellence' that focus on key priority areas within dementia care research and boost the number of researchers working in the dementia care field.

Alzheimer's Society has announced that it has committed £1,981,505 to University College London (UCL), as part of its biggest-ever single investment in dementia care research.

Professor Murna Downs and Dr Kathryn Lord from the School of Dementia Studies at the University of Bradford are co-applicants, for this new project, working alongside UCL. Building on the University's world leading work in person-centred dementia care, cutting edge research with family carers and evidence-based training for home care workers, Bradford will design interventions to train and prepare family carers and professional care workers to best care for people living with dementia. During the five year project the University will employ two research assistants and a PhD student to be based in Bradford.

Professor Downs, Head of Bradford's School of Dementia Studies, said: “We are delighted to develop our collaboration with UCL further to ensure evidence-based, effective support for family carers and home care workers to provide the best possible care for people living with dementia now and in the future.”

Dementia care research seeks to ensure that people who are affected by dementia today are able to receive the highest standard of care. However, the number of researchers specialising in dementia care is too low. Alzheimer's Society's investment will allow more researchers to address some of the most pressing issues in dementia care research and put the UK on track to be a world leader in providing the best care possible for people with dementia. .

Alzheimer's Society Head of Research Development, Colin Capper, said: “We are laying the foundations for building networks of internationally recognised researchers in dementia care in the UK. We are making major investments that will contribute a great deal towards improving care and support for people affected by dementia.”

Dr Claudia Cooper, Clinical Reader in Old Age Psychiatry at UCL Division of Psychiatry, said: "We are excited by the opportunities this investment will bring to improve lives for people living with dementia and their family carers. Our group is a collaboration of UK Universities with UCL, Bradford, Exeter and Reading and Kings College London and international universities, people living with dementia and family carers, NHS primary and secondary health and social and voluntary care services.  We want to find the best ways to support people living with dementia in their own homes and their family carers. Our vision is to make this best available care widely available across the UK. Currently people living with dementia and family carers tell us good dementia care can be hard to access and not of the quality all of us would want for ourselves or our families.”

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