A Newcastle University academic led the development of a new online resource to help dementia patients and carers access local support.The Director of Newcastle University’s Institute for Ageing has played a leading role in the project to develop the ‘Dementia Roadmap’ - a new online resource launched last week by the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP). The new resource will provide doctors with all the information they need on a patient’s needs as dementia develops. The tool will help to signpost patients to relevant local resources at the right time, from diagnosis onwards.
The project to develop the roadmap has been co-led by Professor Louise Robinson, Director of the Newcastle University Institute for Ageing, and Dr Jill Rasmussen, a Primary Care Clinician with special interests in psychiatry and neurology. Both are RCGP dementia champions.
The roadmap will allow patients to see which services are available in their local areas that fit their needs. It provides information about understanding dementia, memory worries, the diagnostic process, post-diagnosis support, living well with dementia, carer health and planning for the future. This is supplemented by details of local information and services for patients, such as memory clinics, hospitals, care homes, and specialist residential housing. Designed by GPs and other primary care staff, the Dementia Roadmap project has been piloted in Devon, North Somerset and South Gloucester, with more pilots planned across England.
Professor Robinson said:
“Newcastle University has long been a centre of research excellence in dementia, establishing itself as a world leader in exploring both the cause of the illness but also looking for a possible cure. A big part of that work is looking into ways to improve the quality of community care for people with dementia and their families, and we’ve been delighted to work with the Department of Health, the Alzheimer’s Society and the Royal College of General Practitioners on this important new initiative.
“The roadmap will provide GPs and other healthcare professionals with the latest information on evidence-based care and best practice in dementia. In addition, it can be adapted to include local support and services for families with dementia. Thanks to this localised information patients and their families will know where to turn for support, ensuring that no one has to face dementia alone. “
Ageing is a key societal challenge research theme at Newcastle University, with a host of active research projects looking at how to ensure that we all enjoy a rise in our healthy life expectancy – in other words, that we live better for longer.
Other Newcastle projects to further understanding of the ageing process and improve the lives of those living with or affected by Dementia include:
The Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre in Ageing & Chronic Disease, a partnership with Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to better understand the ageing process across three key areas: the ageing brain, the ageing body and ageing limbs
Newcastle is also a partner in the National Institute for Health Research’s SEED (Supporting Excellence in End of life care in Dementia) programme, a new research project to support providers and commissioners to identify and deliver good quality, community-based end of life care in dementia.
Professor Louise Robinson has been awarded a National Institute for Health Research Translational Professorship in dementia care
Professor Louise Robinson added:
“Newcastle is committed to building on its world-leading work over the last few years by leading a new generation of research to better understand how we can all live better for longer. We do this on a local, national and international scale. The insight we glean from our work in the North East has implications for communities right around the world.”
published on: 29 May 2014