Guest Blog written by Clare Litherland on Wednesday October 21, 2015
Two years ago there was no EnRICH in three of the five research centres, although research was being carried out particularly in the Age & Ageing sector (Medical Crises in Older People studies). These pioneers however have embraced EnRICH and provided a strong foundation for us to build on. We are grateful for this support , from the researchers and care homes alike, with this common focus of “ improving residents’ care,” and ensuring when doing research that the pathway is a good experience for residents and their family and also CH staff.
When we (CRN delivery staff from Division 4 and Division 5) started up, we took on board as much advice as possible, the consensus being that sustaining interest of Care Home staff was the difficult barrier after the initial engagement. There were surveys to send round, and occasional newsletters, but people wanted something more… the Nottingham / Derby local Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) group agreed on doing Forums/ workshops three times a year. An afternoon that would provide opportunities for professional development for Care Home staff, mixed with feedback from studies and researchers seeking advice on set up of new studies. Topics such as: gait changes in the elderly, hearing problems and trouble-shooting hearing aids, meal times and improving nutrition, using the OH Toolbox of Activity and Music in Care. The Lincoln group have held similar events in conjunction with their local Trust and produced their own monthly newsletter ensuring strong communication links.
Alongside these local events the Clinical Research Network (CRN) has supported two NIHR portfolio studies – OPTIMAL – Optimising the delivery of NHS care and MARQUE – Managing Agitation and Raising Quality of Life in dementia. As research staff, it has been good to collaborate and share problems, sharing challenges around study set-up and delivery with colleagues from across the region, and this can be done formally at the Regional Advisory Group. This group also mirrors the East Midlands Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) and provides opportunities and collaborations for developing new research such as:
The LPZ and UK care Home Study [LaUnCH). LPZ-The International Prevalence of Care Problems Tool from Netherlands was developed and will be used with the aim to establish a bench marking tool of care problems, including measuring, recording and analysis. The study is funded by the EM Patient Safety Collaborative and will cover thirty five care homes.
PEACH – The ProactivE heAlthcare for older people in Care Homes is another study considering how to implement and maintain proactive care in homes and funded by The Dunhill Medical Trust . Both of these studies are led by one of our local EnRICH leads Dr Adam Gordon.
So EnRICH is up and running here, we have tremendous enthusiasm , and I would like to thank everyone concerned in East Midlands so bring on the studies – well a few at a time!
Research Delivery Nurse
NIHR East Midlands Clinical Research Network