I’ve been a clinician in mental health for many (many) years I have heard tales of woe and distress. They have often been so devastating, and at the same time, inspirational as one hears about the efforts people make to overcome the most extreme situations. I have always felt a sense of privilege at being allowed into these stories and as a researcher this privilege feels somehow even more intense.
Professor Anne Rogers explains how weaker social ties play a role in helping people manage a long term illness.
With ever more attention on the NHS and how many nurses and doctors are needed to give people the best care, one part of the health equation is going unnoticed – What attention is being paid to the role of the patient and their extended network of relationships? In early 70s West Coast America a piece of research by Anselm Strauss and colleagues examined a set of questions on ‘self-care’.
In our work looking at how people’s social networks help them in living with a long-term condition, we have been able to show the vital role carers play in keeping people actively engaged with social activities. We know that having a diverse range of support and activities are important for health and wellbeing and carers are the key link in helping those they care for access enjoyable social events by providing both encouragement and transport.
So it’s been a few months since the last update on our work, so where are we now?
Well our Younger Onset Dementia Assessment project is now starting to interview patients, carers and clinicians about their experiences of care in younger onset dementia. This will help define our assessment toolkit for testing and implementation in a wider group of people with younger onset dementia. An important part of this study will be to improve the recording of quality of life (QoL) in people with younger dementia, and helping better understand what factors influence QoL in this particular group of patients and their carers.
When people with dementia get admitted to hospital, their need for fundamental care can be high. Everyone coming in to hospital wants to be treated with respect and dignity by health care workers who have the time, resources and training needed to keep them safe and well cared for. But having dementia can put people at higher risk of not having these needs met.
Research shows nurses are short on time, not compassion
For the past 50 years, May 12 – Florence Nightingale’s birthday – has been celebrated around the world as “International Nurses Day”. But who exactly is celebrating nursing in 2015, when nurses appear to be under constant criticism and their morale is at an all-time low?
Last month saw the publication by the NIHR of the final report on our study evaluating England’s first 100% single room hospital at Pembury, part of the Maidstone and Tunbridge wells trust, which opened in 2011 (1).
Spring. The headlines about A&E overcrowding are beginning to disappear just as a fresh wave of news reports burst forth with the NHS priorities for the next government. We now have the luxury of a brief respite to reflect on how we can improve the lot of our hospital A&E’s before the seasonal cycle repeats itself. I have spent my winter looking at A&E data examining the question – could the answer to A&E attendance lie in providing GP appointments for urgent – but non-emergency – care at the weekend?
By Claire Ballinger and Mark Stafford-Watson – Chairs, Wessex Inclusion in Service Design and Delivery (WISeRD) group
It’s the end of our first year in CLAHRC Wessex, we have been thinking about our progress in involving patients and the public in our work (or PPI as it’s called), and reviewing where our focus should be for the coming year. We have settled on five strategic aims:
- Develop our capacity for patient and public involvement (PPI) in research and implementation programmes
- Promote our CLAHRC Wessex activities to the wider public (public engagement)
- Evolve and measure ways to include patients and the public to identify research priorities
- Develop a group of patient and public researchers
- Measure the impact of patient and public involvement within CLAHRC Wessex
Poor nutrition in hospital inpatients is a problem that is becoming increasingly recognised both in the UK and worldwide, and requires a multifaceted approach, including protected meal times, red trays and protein and energy supplementation as required. One factor that particularly affects older inpatients is the amount of assistance they receive at mealtimes. Time-pressured nursing staff may not have the time they need to help patients with their meals.