Week commencing 18 June saw me attending a research retreat at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada, building on successful collaboration with Canadian colleagues (via 2 CIHR development grants) established around 5 years ago my colleague Professor Debra Morgan is now leading a large programme grant application to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) which would allow for comparative work to be conducted in Dorset and Canada around community based dementia services. As well as academic meetings discussing the content, focus and budgetary implications of the programme of work there was a one day ‘Stakeholder’ event where decision makers debated the merits of the four strands of the programme of proposed work. This was a fantastic example of public engagement in writing a programme grant and the opening presentation I gave about the UK dementia strategies and implementation plans were very well received. It is always good to have synergy between work going on in different places and to learn from one another. Canadian colleagues were very complimentary about the policy level work that has been established within the UK, but some of the practical initiatives occuring in rural Canada are very much at the forefront of quality dementia care provision. Here’s hoping we secure the grant award!
14 June saw the first BUDI University wide dementia meeting. Over 30 people attended from different BU Schools (Tourism, DEC and HSC). Apologies were received from 10 other BU staff members who were unable to attend the meeting but are keen to be involved in BUDI activities relating to dementia research, education and practice development.
Professor Anthea Innes, Director of BUDI, welcomed everyone to this inaugural meeting. She shared the already extensive progress to date of BUDI, but stressed the need for working collaboratively with colleagues across the University to enable the development of interdisciplinary teams for future larger research bids and other activities. “This is an excellent opportunity to share our resources and expertise” said one of the participants. BUDI aims to become the signpost for all work BU undertakes in relation to dementia. Professor Steve Page from the school of Tourism added that the emphasis of BUDI was on collaboration and for it to be the focal point of dementia research and not to take control of individuals’ dementia research, he sees it as an excellent opportunity to apply his area of expertise, health and leisure, to a new area. There is huge potential for staff across the University to work within BUDI, and to showcase their projects and publications via the BUDI website. Meeting participants agreed to forward relevant information on to Clare Cutler who is working on the BUDI website with Matt Northam from the Media School.
The meeting clearly demonstrated the range of work being undertaken across the University and the huge potential for collaboration for future funding bids. Three short term working groups were agreed to take forward initial collaborative activity across BU:
- Dr Simon Thompson from DEC has agreed to take the lead on organising a working group to develop a bid for a series of events for the forthcoming BU Festival of Learning call.
- To facilitate further sharing of information the idea for a conference to disseminate and share work in the dementia field with colleagues across the University was agreed and will be taken forward by Anthea Innes with the BUDI team in the 2012/13 academic year;
- A carers forum is being planned for early Autumn, Dr Marilyn Cash from HSC will co-ordinate this working group.
The group has agreed to meet 3 times a year as a large group to share progress and plans, with working groups meeting according to individual project demands. All BU staff who are interested in dementia and want to join the meetings or to explore the plans for any of the working groups please let Michelle O’Brien, BUDI’s administrator know so you can be added to our mailing list.
If you want more information about BUDI or any dementia related activities undertaken at the University, look at the BUDI website.
You may already be aware that we have recently seen the launch of Bournemouth University’s Dementia Institute (BUDI), more details of which can be found on the Health and Social Care blog and BUDI’s website. This event brought together nearly 100 participants, two thirds of which had a professional interest in dementia, with a considerable proportion of the remainder attending for more personal reasons.
Encapsulating BU’s Fusion concept (with inclusion of research, teaching and practice), the launch event brought together what has been described as the three sides of the public engagement triangle. This includes transmitting (sharing results of previous research on dementia through presentations), receiving (learning from practitioners and service users about the key research issues) and collaborating (creating a dialogue to inform future research).
Part of BUDI’s key driving force is the need to promote high quality care and support for the population for dementia. Therefore, the process of public engagement is particularly important for BUDI, as it considers a key issue for Dorset – why does the county have the lowest level of dementia diagnosis, despite its elderly population? Currently available data does not provide an obvious answer to this, and it is likely that only by working with key stakeholders and the at risk population, that insights may be gained into this startling statistic.
BUDI Director, Prof Anthea Innes’ opening talk (What does dementia mean to you?) brought together some of her findings from her esteemed research career in a way that was accessible to the audience as a whole, but also sensitive to those for whom dementia is a highly emotive subject. Michele Board – a Senior Lecturer in the School of Health and Social Care and a senior nurse in the memory clinic at Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust – then gave a powerful account of insights into how the individual’s experience can be improved from her experience of working in the memory clinic. Again, this was informative for those of us with limited knowledge and for the more expert attendee. The final part of the event focused around a panel discussion, chaired by Prof Gail Thomas, Dean of the School of Health and Social Care. Alongside the speakers, the panel included Karen Cosgrove from Alzheimers.org.uk and Steve Collins from Age UK who with their extensive practice experience helped generate a lively discussion, where knowledge was exchanged and attendees were able to flag up areas of potential future research.
During the launch, I had a strong sense that the event was enabling a genuine process of public engagement to occur between our academic community, practitioners and other key stakeholders. I am therefore, delighted to learn that the results of the event evaluation demonstrate that this was very much the case for many of the participants. I know that BUDI are planning far more public engagement activities, which is I think will be both hugely positive for the progression of the research, for those involved in professional practice as well as for those affected by dementia, both patients and carers. As an academic institution, we perhaps uniquely positioned to be able to bring such a range of stakeholders together, share world-class research, learn from those that are directly impacted by research findings and develop a research agenda that we can be confident is relevant to our fast-changing world. If you would like to know more about why it worked so well or are interested in learning more about how you could develop public engagement activities around your research, please do not hesitate to contact Dr Rebecca Edwards on firstname.lastname@example.org, or for more information about BUDI contact Professor Anthea Innes on email@example.com
On the 25th May 2012 Southampton Solent University hosted an annual Alzheimer’s Research UK (ARUK) public awareness event. BUDI (Bournemouth University Dementia Institute) was invited to set up a display and provide information about BUDI’s services and research. Clare Cutler from BUDI, along with scientists and clinicians from the local ARUK network demonstrated and provided information about Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, current treatments and the latest research. The event was attended by many members of the public, carers and students. BUDI was able to provide information about the services it can provide and insight from ongoing research. The day was very well received by the public and was said to be an ‘excellent event”.
Bournemouth University Dementia Institute (BUDI) was launched at a public open meeting on dementia on the 16th May. See our fledgling website for more details: www.bournemouth.ac.uk/dementia-institute
A University wide meeting open to all staff interested in working in the dementia field will be held on Thursday 14 June at the Business Centre (EB708) 10-12 followed by opprtunity to network over a light lunch. If you would plan on coming along can you let Michelle O’Brien know (firstname.lastname@example.org) for catering purposes.