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University of Bradford recognised in UK's best breakthroughs list


Research from the University of Bradford leading to improving the lives of people affected by dementia has today been named as one of the UK's 100 best breakthroughs for its significant impact on people's everyday lives.

Person-centred dementia care, developed at the Centre for Applied Dementia Studies, is honoured in the UK’s Best Breakthroughs list of the last century for its pioneering work.

The research formed the basis for the development of the observational tool and practice development methodology, Dementia Care Mapping (DCMTM). DCMTM provides practitioners with a common framework and language to record the experience of care from the perspective of the person with dementia.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has drawn extensively on research carried out at the University in their guidelines on supporting people with dementia. The National Audit Office also cites this research and uses DCMTM as a measure of quality of life.

Using the research, the University has engaged with care providers, regulators, national bodies and people with dementia and their families. It continues to set national and international policy agendas and transform care practice. It has trained over 10,000 care staff internationally and enabled adoption of person-centred approaches in policy and practice.

The work was honoured with a Queen’s Anniversary Prize in 2015.

The list of breakthroughs demonstrates how UK universities are at the forefront of some of the world’s most important discoveries, innovations and social initiatives.

The list also highlights the less celebrated but vital breakthroughs that transform lives, including a specially-designed bra to help women undergoing radiotherapy; a toilet that flushes human waste without the need for water; the development of a new scrum technique to make rugby safer; a sports initiative that aims to use football to resolve conflict in divided communities; - and even work to protect the quality of the chocolate we eat.

The list was compiled by Universities UK, the umbrella group for UK universities, as part of the MadeAtUni campaign to change public perceptions of universities and bring to life the difference they make to people, lives and communities across the UK.

It follows independent research undertaken by Britain Thinks which found that the public has little understanding of the benefits of universities beyond undergraduate teaching. The findings show that research is one of the key triggers to change opinion about universities but for many people, it is an abstract concept.

Professor John Bridgeman, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research and Knowledge Transfer) at the University of Bradford,said: “It is a fantastic achievement for the university to be featured in the UK’s Best Breakthrough list. We’re extremely proud of the work of our academics and the difference they are making to people, lives and communities.

“The MadeAtUni campaign is an incredibly important initiative for the University of Bradford as it allows students, alumni, the local community and the wider population to understand the work that we do and the impact it has.”

Professor Dame Janet Beer, President of Universities UK, said: “Universities really do transform lives. The technology we use every day, the medicines that save lives, the teachers who inspire – all come from UK universities and the important work being done by academics.

“The UK’s Best Breakthroughs list is a testament to the difference that universities make to people’s lives and we want everyone to join us in celebrating the work they do.”

The UK’s Best Breakthroughs list: 100+ Ways Universities Have Improved Everyday Life was put together in partnership with universities across the UK. As part of the MadeAtUni campaign, every university in the country was invited to nominate the one thing from their institution which they believe has had the biggest impact on people, lives and communities. Over 100 universities submitted a nomination. The entries cover health, technology, environment, family, community and culture and sport.

You can find out more about the UK’s Best Breakthroughs and the MadeAtUni campaign here