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Research and Projects

Caring about Care - Improving the Experience of Care for People with Dementia in Hospital

Theme: CLAHRC - Mental Health & Dementia
Status: Live

Read the Plain Language Protocol Summary (PLPS) here.


Hospital services are inherently geared towards fast and effective responses: assessment, diagnosis, intervention and discharge. Services run on the assumption that patients will be able to express their wishes, acknowledge the needs of other patients, and move through the system as required. 

However, for people with dementia, particularly when they are ill or have had an accident, hospital settings can be confusing, challenging and overwhelming. This can further impact their well-being and the ability to optimise their care. Furthermore, what happens in hospitals can have a profound and permanent effect on individuals and their families - not only in terms of their inpatient experience - but also their ongoing health, and the decisions that are made about their future.


1. To support improvements in the experiences of care for people with dementia in hospital, and their families, through the use of evidence synthesis.

2. To support improvements in the experiences of hospital staff providing care for dementia patients, through the use of evidence synthesis.


1. To bring together studies which have explored the experience of care for people with dementia in hospital from the perspectives of the people giving and receiving care. 
2. To determine the key characteristics, components and processes that should be included when caring for people with dementia in hospital.
3. Where adequate data is available, to determine the effectiveness of interventions aiming to improve the experience of care of people with dementia, their families, and hospital staff.
4. To arrange a series of meetings with people with dementia, their families and friends, representatives from acute and community hospitals, commissioners of services, ambulance trusts, the voluntary sector, and care homes, to discuss what the findings mean for clinical practice and service provision leading to the co-production of plans for service change. 

Anticipated Outputs

1. Plans for service change to improve the experience of care for people with dementia in hospital, their families and hospital staff.

2. All relevant findings presented as plain language summaries in multiple formats to enable easy access for all those for whom this research is relevant.

3. A minimum of three high-quality scholarly papers, the pre-publication versions of which will be made available without cost to enable access for all.

By including providers, commissioners and recipients of services as partners in the research at all stages we aim to produce plans for service change that are evidence based, relevant and feasible.

Related news 

EST dementia project covered on BBC Spotlight 




Prof Jo Thompson-Coon
Prof David A Richards
Dr Iain Lang
Prof Linda Clare
Morwenna Rogers
Prof Stuart Logan
Susan Ball
Dr Darren Moore
Dr Rebecca Abbott
Dr David Llewellyn
Prof. Colin Green
Dr Ruth Gwernan-Jones 
Dr Ilianna Lourida
Ms Debbie Cheeseman
Dr Colm Owens
Dr Anthony Hemsley.

We have convened a Project Advisory Group who will contribute to the project throughout.  The group comprises: Sue Lawrence and Julia Burton (members of the Alzheimer's Society Research Network with lived experience of caring for people with dementia), Di Walker (Assistant Director of Nursing Community for the Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust), Dominic Hudson (Joint Commissioning Manager for the Partnerships Directorate of Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group and Social Care Commissioning for Devon County Council), Martyn Rogers (Director of AgeUK in Exeter),Tina Naldrett (Director of Patient Services, Hospiscare), Sarah Black (Research & Audit Manager, South West Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust), George Coxon (care home owner and lead for Devon Care Kitemark) and Chrissey Hussey (Admiral Nurse - Hospiscare)