Pride in the CLAHRC Research Capacity in Dementia Care Programme (RCDCP). A blog by Rachel Daly

Building capacity in research in dementia care was never going to be an easy endeavour but the East of England, Wessex, Manchester and Pen CLAHRCS are not put off by a challenge! In 2015 they appointed a dynamic group of healthcare professionals to PhD fellowships. People who are passionate about making a difference to people living with dementia and their care partners. I am proud to be part of this cohort of professionals who have collectively spent years working with people living with dementia. Invariably we do it because we love it and now use our research to improve care!

Coming together annually to discuss progress, to display posters and 3 minute thesis presentations is important, but it cannot compare to the in depth discussions over lunch or a quiet drink where you really get to discuss trials and tribulations, unpick each other’s projects and understand their purpose and methodologies.

The diversity of research projects and expertise is as great as the creativity displayed by the PhD students and CLAHRC leads alike. My fellow students from PenCLAHRC and Wessex CLAHRC have already posted blogs about this year’s annual ‘meeting of minds’ so I won’t replicate their excellent blogs. Instead I will offer a personal perspective on what being part of this inspirational cohort means to me.

Because of geography, I don’t see the rest of the cohort from one year to the next. The annual meetings give me the opportunity to get a multidisciplinary perspective on my research (Shared decision-making for people living with dementia in care homes), and greater insight into their dementia care research. We have quality time, engaging with each other and building relationships and cross CLAHRC collaborations.

The supervisors and leads were so generous with their time and expertise and I must echo the special thanks to Carole Ponniah and Professor Eneida Mioshi for organising and coordinating the event and to Jason Corner (our very own @lord_sugar) for getting us out and about finding (and photographing) such random items as Harry Potter, Prezzo and the moon!

A further blog, by PhD student Emily Walters from Southampton University can be accessed here

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