Dementia patients across the county are being supported to get involved in research into the condition, thanks to Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust’s new status as a ‘Join Dementia Research Champion’.
Join Dementia Research is a nationwide online and telephone service that makes it easier for people to register their interest in volunteering for vital dementia research studies.
The service’s designers, the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), hope it will boost research participation by connecting patients to suitable dementia studies across the East Midlands.
Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LPFT) was the first NHS trust in England to sign up the organisation as a whole as a ‘champion’, and staff across its services are now actively promoting the programme to patients, their families and friends.
Steve Roberts, Divisional Manager for Older Adult Mental Health Services at the Trust, said: “As a trust delivering a number of services to older adults including specialised dementia care, we are acutely aware of the part that research plays in developing new treatments and ensuring we offer the best care and support possible both now and into the future.
“As champions of Join Dementia Research, our staff will promote the campaign to patients across both our inpatient and community services and help them to take part if they wish.”
Research Coordinator at LPFT, Tracy McCranor added: “Materials about the scheme are available to all our staff and all new starters are given information as part of their induction training. We’re also displaying posters, leaflets and videos in reception areas around the Trust and including a leaflet in all post-diagnosis packs for new dementia patients.
“We’re helping to promote Join Dementia Research to other health and care providers across the county too, as working together across different organisations can really make a difference.”
While there are a small number of treatments available that reduce the symptoms of dementia, there are currently none that slow the underlying disease progression.
Goizeder Aspe Juaristi, Project Lead at the NIHR Clinical Research Network East Midlands, said: “We know that only around five per cent of people with dementia take part in research at the moment and we need to boost that figure if we’re really going to make a difference.
“The collective support of teams from across the Trust is a great way of promoting the opportunity to take part in research to patients in the local area who have dementia, and to help us link dementia care with dementia research.”
“We’re looking for people to take part in a number of studies, ranging from clinical trials of new treatments to studies of healthy people in middle age, so we’re also keen to reach both patients and their friends and families.”
To find out more about signing up to Join Dementia Research, visit www.joindementiaresearch.nihr.ac.uk, or if you need help, please call Alzheimer’s Research UK on 0300 111 5 111 or the Alzheimer’s Society on 0300 222 1 122.