The research programme in dementia in primary care supported by the School is an exemplar of where early investment has built capacity and led to meaningful impacts. This includes a project hosted by UCL that used routinely collected primary care data to develop a five year risk prediction tool for dementia (Walters et al., 2016). This attracted global media attention from 22 news outlets internationally and made headline news in the UK, and has already been cited 8 times Internationally. The tool is undergoing validation in the UK, Hong Kong and Spain, and has potential to be implemented in practice to increase timely diagnosis of dementia. This study led to a collaborative grant in FR9 (Rait, Walters, Wilcock) between UCL and University of Newcastle, exploring public and practitioner perspectives on the implementation of dementia risk assessment. This new collaboration, supported by the School, then led to a recent successful joint bid between the two Partners to become a Dementia ‘Centre of Excellence’, delivering a programme of work to improve primary care post-diagnostic support, funded by the Alzheimer’s Society (Rait, Walters £1.6 million).
The School has further supported early career researchers in this area of research. This support includes a post-doctoral bridging fellowship and a small ‘pump-priming’ grant for a project on supporting carers of people with dementia in advanced stages/toward the end of life (Davies). This in turn has led to the development of ‘heuristics’ that have been implemented in practice in several settings. Dr Davies was recently awarded a post-doctoral fellowship from the Alzheimer’s society and won the prestigious Yvonne Carter Outstanding Early Career Researcher award from the SAPC/RCGP.