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WHELD into Practice

Implementation of evidence-based cost-effective training for care home staff to improve Wellbeing and mental HEaLth for care home residents with Dementia and reduce unnecessary sedative medications (WHELD into Practice)

Principle Investigator:  Professor Clive Ballard

Team members: Joanne McDermid, Jane Fossey, Barbara Woodward Carlton, John-Paul Taylor, Louise Robinson, Martin Orrell, Clare Hulme, Sube Banerjee, Esme Moniz-Cook, Dag Aarsland, Annette Boaz, Clarissa Giebel, Caroline Watkins, Jo Day

Partners: NIHR ARC South West Peninsula ARC, University of Exeter, NIHR ARC Yorkshire and Humber, NIHR ARC East Midlands, NIHR ARC East of England, NIHR ACR South London, NIHR ARC North West Coast , NIHR ARC North East and North Cumbria, University of Plymouth, University of Newcastle, University of Hull, King’s College London, University of Nottingham, South West AHSN, Pendennis Care Home, Devon Partnership NHS trust, Alzheimer’s Society.

Research sites: University of Exeter, University of Newcastle, University of Hull, King’s College London, University of Nottingham, University of Liverpool

Starts: 1/09/2021

Ends:  31/03/2023

Lay Summary

WHELD is an evidence-based person-centred training programme which, in 4 clinical trials involving 2349 care home residents with dementia, demonstrated benefits in wellbeing, mental health and a reduction in sedative medications across London and Buckinghamshire. No care home dementia training programme with a clinical trial evidence base of benefit has been successfully implemented in the UK or elsewhere, and rolling-out this training programme nationally would make a massive difference to the lives of the most vulnerable people with dementia in the UK.

The proposed programme will introduce WHELD in 80 care homes across 6 ARC regions - South West, East of England, Newcastle, North West, East Midlands and Yorkshire and Humber. Using different levels of in-person and virtual/digital support in each area, the programme will provide a flexible range of delivery and pricing options.  We will continue the extensive public and community involvement that is core to the programme to enrich the findings and ensure they are applicable in real-world settings. Established frameworks (Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research – CFIR, Proctor’s implementation outcomes) will be used to identify key barriers and enablers to implementation at each system level. Interviews and focus groups across the 80 care homes will explore helpers and hindrances to the uptake and reach of WHELD.  Stakeholder consultation with managers and owners, care home groups, commissioners, integrated care systems and AHSNs will explore optimal pathways to implementation in the real world.

Findings will be shared at a workshop for all care homes in the 6 ARC regions as well as a national conference for care home owners, managers, commissioners and integrated care organisations.