Full time PhD student
Research Title: Optimising the transition from hospital to care homes for people with dementia
Supervisors: Professor Murna Downs, Professor Alison Blenkinsopp and Dr Kathryn Lord
I am a mental health nurse with a special interest in dementia care. My early career experience includes working in variety of settings both as a hospital based nurse, and in the community as a community mental health nurse. I have also worked with the Alzheimer’s Society, as a branch manager managing day care services and developing community outreach services. These experiences have been influential in grounding my knowledge and understanding of the wide range of issues that people with dementia and their families face during their journey.
My interest in service improvement goes back over a decade, first as a practice development nurse within a mental health trust and later as a regional lead for older adult services with the Care Services Improvement Partnership at the Department of Health. I developed and led a programme of service improvement and gained valuable experience and knowledge of different service improvement methodologies whilst working with a range of stakeholders.
More recently my career has focused on education and training. I started this journey working for a chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association in the USA as a dementia trainer delivering sessions to carers, families and care home staff. My previous employment was working at the Joint Faculty of Health at the University of Kingston and St George’s London, as a lecturer leading the development of the dementia theme throughout the under-graduate and post graduate curricula.
When I saw this PhD opportunity I had a keen interest in the topic as I have witnessed first hand that transitions can be incredibly difficult for people with dementia, with hospital care and discharge to care homes particularly challenging. The aim of the project is to examine how nurses support people with dementia as they transition from hospital to the care home and I hope my research will inform ways of working that has real world impact and improves the experience for people with dementia and their supporters. I am excited to be undertaking this research in the Doctoral Training Centre and to be working alongside internationally recognised researchers and talented students.