Funding to develop dementia researchers

Dr Catherine Macleod and  Dr Carys JonesDr Catherine Macleod and Dr Carys JonesIn Wales there at 45,000 people living with dementia and the cost of illness has been estimated at £1.4 billion per year. The highest part of this cost is unpaid care by family and friends. Support services can be fragmented and difficult for people to access across health and social care sectors. Poor transport links and the risk of carers feeling more isolated and unsupported are particular challenges for rural areas.

Researchers at Bangor University’s School of Healthcare Sciences have been awarded over half a million pounds in funding to undertake fellowships in dementia research. These fellowships, funded by Welsh Government through Health and Care Research Wales, aim to build capacity in health and social care research by supporting individuals to become independent researchers and to undertake high-quality research projects’.

Dr Catherine MacLeod of the Dementia Services Development Centre Wales (DSDC) has been awarded a social care fellowship to explore the health and care service needs of people living with dementia or cognitive impairment, and their carers. The work will look at how people currently use and access services, what support or information they may be missing, and their experiences of social exclusion.

Dr Catherine Macleod said:

“We want to ensure that people living with dementia and their families receive the right help and the right support at the right time. I hope my research will make a difference to the support people receive.”

Dr Carys Jones of the Centre for Health Economics and Medicines Evaluation (CHEME) has been awarded a social care fellowship to explore the social value of third sector services for family carers of people living with dementia. The findings from this fellowship have the potential to improve service delivery through examining the value for money provided by third sector schemes.

Dr Carys Jones said: “Family carers provide vital support to people living with dementia, yet their needs are often overlooked. This important research will look at services that support families through providing emotional support, practical advice about caring, and advice on maintaining the health and well-being of carers”

Both fellowships will identify what works for whom in the provision of these services, will highlight examples of best practice, and examine factors that make it easier for people to use and access services. People living with dementia and their families will be at the centre of this work, actively shaping the development of the research, and working with researchers to ensure that the voices of people living with dementia and their carers are heard.

Publication date: 30 August 2017