Northumbria Universities innovative care project celebrates success

As part of Bdaily’s coverage for World Health Day (April 7), we hear from Northumbria University as they attempt to revolutionise elder care. Researchers at the university are celebrating a key milestone in the development and delivery of an innovative new programme designed to improve care for older people.

Northumbria University developed the Enhanced Care for Older People (EnCOP) programme in partnership with the North East and North Cumbria (NENC) Ageing Well Network, to understand the workforce development needs and challenges associated with caring for older people.

The project provides education, resources, networking opportunities, career development and research centred on high-quality, evidence-based care. It was designed for those working with older people in health and social care settings, from community case managers all the way through to pharmacists.

The first cohort of 50 health and social care professionals to undertake the new programme have now graduated and in recognition of the success of the programme to date, it was also named as a finalist in the Innovation in Clinical Education category at the Bright Ideas in Health Awards.

Dr Claire Pryor, assistant professor of adult nursing from the University’s Department of Nursing, Midwifery and Health, said: “It’s an important milestone to see our first cohort graduate from the programme and to be shortlisted for such a prestigious award.

“While older people are the biggest consumers of care, they are also the group most likely to have unmet needs. But we are helping to provide a solution by defining and providing guidance and best practice around what the workforce needs to be able to better support and care for them.”

Lesley Bainbridge, clinical lead, NENC ICB on behalf of the NENC Ageing Well Network, added: “We’re delighted to have made so much progress with the EnCOP project and to have been recognised for our work, but there is still more to be done.

“Regionally and nationally, there are multiple organisations keen to become involved. Our ambition is to grow the scale of our collaborative work in order to improve the health and wellbeing of our ageing population, whilst exploring the significant opportunities for change, workforce development and research.”

Sue Tiplady, assistant professor of Adult Nursing at Northumbria University, commented, “EnCOP is a great way to raise and celebrate the value and profile of working with older people.

“For too long older people care has been seen as a less attractive option for people to work in, with little recognition of the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes that staff require to care for the diversity and complexity of older people. It’s time for staff to be proud and celebrate that they work with older people.”

Northumbria University, named Times Higher Education (THE) University of the Year 2022, recently announced ambitious plans to develop its Centre for Health and Social Equity, bringing together academics working on health, social care, education, wellbeing and equity issues onto one central base in the heart of Newcastle, on the University’s City Campus.

Credit: Bdaily

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