Northern Ireland

£2m research programme for Northern Ireland dementia sufferers

Old person's hands

A £2m research programme into the care of people with dementia in Northern Ireland is being launched later.

It is being jointly funded by The Atlantic Philanthropies and the Public Health Agency (PHA).

It is one of the actions listed in the strategy, Improving Dementia Services in Northern Ireland, which was published in 2011.

The research will focus on dementia care-related topics that people have identified as being important.

Health and Social Care staff, patients, carers, and researchers were involved in choosing the topics from a list already identified through a UK-wide exercise undertaken by the Alzheimer's Society and the James Lind Alliance.

They include quality and co-ordination of care; management of symptoms and behaviour; information and communication; and staff training.

The programme will bring together teams from local universities, Health and Social Care (HSC) trusts and the voluntary sector with the aim of improving the way people with dementia in Northern Ireland and their families are cared for in the future.

Prof Bernie Hannigan, director of Health and Social Care Research and Development (HSC R&D) in the PHA, said: "We are delighted that we can jointly fund this programme which will allow our excellent local research expertise to focus on finding solutions to dementia issues that local people have identified as being important.

Dr Janice Bailie, assistant director of HSC R&D said: "Through this important piece of work we will be closer to achieving the main aims of the dementia strategy which are to help promote a greater public understanding of how dementia impacts people's lives, to allow people with dementia to live well as valued members of society through patient-centred care and to enable people with dementia to influence the way in which services are planned and delivered."

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