Is there an ‘optimal’ time for people living with dementia to move to a care home?

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Kritika SamsiKritika Samsi, Research Fellow at the NIHR Health & Social Care Workforce Research Unit, introduces the findings from the optimal time study, which she led.

Funded by the NIHR School for Social Care Research, this 3-year study investigated what (if any) may be an optimal time for people living with dementia to move to a care home.

A literature review, qualitative interviews and a factorial survey were conducted over the course of 3 years to reveal a complexity of findings around what may be seen as an ‘optimal’ time for a care home move. We found that the ‘right time’ for any move was highly individual, contextual and depended on myriad factors other than symptom severity. These include the wellbeing of the person living with dementia, family members’ ability to support them and the type and availability of care home places. Continue reading

Hourly ward rounds may not be the best way for nurses to deliver care: findings from a new nursing study

Professor Ruth Harris works in the Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery & Palliative Care at King’s College London.

The widespread practice of intentional rounding (IR) in England may not the best way for nurses to deliver care and IR makes a minor contribution, if at all, to the way nursing staff engage with patients. This is the main finding of our study that was commissioned and funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).

Intentional rounding is a protocol of standard regular checks with individual patients at set intervals and was introduced in hospitals in England in 2013 as part of the government’s response to care failures in the NHS, most notably at Mid-Staffordshire NHS Trust. Continue reading

Current Advances in Gambling Research 2019

Stephanie Bramley is a Research Associate at the NIHR Health & Social Care Workforce Research Unit, King’s College London. (982 words)

Unit researcher Stephanie Bramley attended the first Current Advances in Gambling Research 2019 conference on 12th July which was held at the University of East London.  The conference was organised by Dr. Steve Sharman and was supported by the Society for the Study of Addiction.

Two keynote addresses were given, one by Prof. Marcantonio Spada and another by Prof. Gerda Reith.  There were also invited talks from eight academics with Dr. Henrietta Bowden-Jones OBE giving the opening and closing addresses.

Henrietta opened the conference with some exciting news as she is intending to develop a National Research Centre in Behavioural Addictions, so watch this space.  Following this Prof. Spada (London South Bank University) spoke about the role of metacognitive beliefs in predicting problem gambling. Prof. Spada put forward his view that metacognition was not addressed within cognitive behavioural therapy and that CBT relies on semantic change which could be a factor that leads to relapse, following research studies conducted about anxiety, depression and nicotine.  He called for more research with adolescents and relapse prevention in the U.K. following on from studies currently being conducted in Italy. Continue reading

HSCWRU researchers have a ball at the British Society of Gerontology 2019 Annual Conference in Liverpool

Caroline Norrie, Katharine Orellana and Laura Cole report from BSG 2019. (725 words)

HSCWRU researchers enjoyed two and a half days of stimulating presentations, symposia and keynote speeches at the British Society of Gerontology’s (BSG) 2019 Annual Conference held this year in Liverpool. The 48th BSG annual conference was entitled Resilience and Living Well in Local Communities and took place from 10 to 12th July at the University of Liverpool.

Keynote speakers presented on each day. Professor Gill Windle from Bangor University kicked off the conference with a discussion about resilience in later life – and the uses and abuses of this myth/metaphor/or measure. Professor Frank Oswald from Goethe University in Germany discussed environmental gerontological perspectives and the types of research studies that arise from these approaches. Professor Chris Todd, joint lead of the NIHR Policy Research Unit – Older People and Frailty, discussed his aim of using an ‘equality lens’ in the setting up and undertaking of work in this recently formed team together with Newcastle University and the London School of Economics. Continue reading

A National Workforce Plan for Approved Mental Health Professionals

Stephen Martineau was at a day conference last week focusing on a new national workforce plan and proposals to introduce AMHP service standards as well as changes to the AMHP competencies. (1,030 words)

Recent empirical research at this Unit on the Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP) workforce has focused on why so few in the eligible health professions are taking up the role. AMHPs are responsible for organising and undertaking assessments under the Mental Health Act 1983 (MHA) and, where statutory criteria are met, authorising detention under the Act. Traditionally a social worker role (they were formerly known as Approved Social Workers), it has been open to occupational therapists, learning disability and mental health nurses, and psychologists since November 2008. But about a decade since these professionals were enabled to become AMHPs, they still only make up around 5% of the AMHP workforce. Continue reading

National study starts of new nursing role

How can the new Nursing Associates help resolve some of the workforce recruitment and retention problems in health and social care? A new King’s College London-led study is finding out the answers to this question and it will also be seeking the views and experiences of patients and people using care services of these new staff. The study, funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) at the NIHR Policy Research Unit in Health and Social Care Workforce, will be the first to gather information, statistics and experiences of the new Nursing Associates in practice and from people supporting them. Continue reading

Evidence gathering in social care research. Are we looking in the right places?

John Woolham is Senior Research Fellow at the NIHR Health & Social John WoolhamCare Workforce Research Unit (HSCWRU), King’s College London. John reports from a Health Services and Delivery Research (HS&DR) Programme seminar, 15 May, which he attended on behalf of HSCWRU. (463 words)

The HS&DR is part of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and is responsible for funding research in health and social care settings. Its programme aims to produce rigorous and relevant evidence to improve the quality, accessibility and organisation of health and social care services.

The purpose of the seminar was to enable HS&DR to better understand the needs of evidence users, with a particular focus on social care, and how the HS&DR programme can respond to these needs. Continue reading

Letter from the European Parliament: Promoting Quality Social Services with the ESF Plus

Mary Baginsky is Senior Research Fellow at the NIHR Health & Social Care Workforce Research Unit at King’s College London. (611 words)

Dr Mary Baginsky

Dr Mary Baginsky

I was invited to attend an event (9 April 2019) at the European Parliament organised by the European Social Network (ESN) to discuss ‘Promoting Quality Social Services with the European Social Fund Plus (ESF+)’. The ESN has over 125 member organisations in 33 European countries and supports the sharing of knowledge, practice and policies between social services across Europe. The event was hosted by Sofia Ribeiro, a Portuguese MEP and member of the Employment and Social Affairs Committee in the European Parliament. The focus was on how the ESF+, amounting to 120 million euros in the coming period, could be put to best use to support the work of social services across Europe. Even though there are UK members of ESN none were present at the meeting. Continue reading

Alan Kilmister reports from Homelessness Health Event

Alan Kilmister is a Peer Researcher and Expert by Experience with HSCWRU’s Homeless Hospital Discharge Project. The project, which is led by Senior Research Fellow at HSCWRU, Dr Michelle Cornes, is due to report shortly. The project researchers last month published an open access article in Wellcome Open Research—‘Causes of death among homeless people: a population-based cross-sectional study of linked hospitalisation and mortality data in England’. (792 words)

Recent article from the HSCWRU study examining Hospital Discharge of homeless people

Recent article from the HSCWRU study examining Hospital Discharge of homeless people

Hi, it’s me Alan—yes, I know I am becoming a blogoholic. On Friday 8 March 2019 I attended the Queen’s Nursing Institute event, ‘Better Health for all Women especially those suffering homelessness’. It was held at Birmingham City University South Campus: it was a very good venue and we were well fed and watered, and all the speakers were women who introduced themselves with ‘nice to see you all’ on this International Women’s Day. Us poor menfolk were outnumbered by 20/1.

The four key themes of the meeting were: Improve quality of local health; and housing systems; improve access to healthcare; and, increasing knowledge and awareness. This was followed by six key recommendations: Accommodation, Collaborate, Together, Initiative and Intelligence, Ownership, and no Gaps in care. The main point out of these six to my mind was to foster collaborative working for homeless prevention and reduction and to ensure all health services understand their responsibilities regarding care and treatment of those that are homeless. Continue reading

Oh, to be in Finland now that spring is here

James Fuller reports on the ‘Housing First: Ending homelessness across Finland and the UK’ seminar at the Finnish Ambassador’s residence in London, 6 March 2019. The event was organised in co-operation with the Finnish Institute in London and Crisis UK. (1,070 words)

Kensington Palace Gardens, or Ambassadors Avenue as it might as well be called, is a private, heavily guarded boulevard nestled behind the sedate royal dwelling from which it takes its name that is packed with official residences. Not an obvious venue for a series of presentations, organised by the Finnish Institute, about how to house some of the most marginalised and multiply excluded members of society, even if the Finnish building is typically modest.

After a brief word from the Ambassador and the same from Jon Sparkes, Chief Executive of Crisis, we heard from Anita Birchall, Head of the Threshold Housing Project, a specialist housing first, five-year pilot project working with female homeless ex-offenders. As is generally the case for such pilots, Anita reeled off a succession of impressive outcomes for the fifty or so residents THP is helping, although she was clearly anxious about the renewal of her funding, as the end of term is fast approaching. She also revealed that whilst it had been possible to house people within about four weeks during the early stages of the pilot, at present it takes some 71 days on average. This is frustrating for her team, she said and is causing some distress to users of the service, who imagine an application will lead almost directly to accommodation. The idea that this is a ‘from the prison gate’ operation is way short of the mark. Continue reading