An investigation of the Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP) System of Care to Prevent Delirium

Research Conducted at the Academic Unit of Elderly Care and Rehabilitation

The prime focus at the Bradford Institute for Health Research is on clinically relevant health services research directly addressing the national priorities of elderly care and stroke.

One such research programme is:

An Investigation of the Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP) System of Care to Prevent Delirium

This research project is summarised as follows (quotation; taken from the Bradford Institute for Health Research website, December 5th 2010):

“The Academic Unit of Elderly Care and Rehabilitation and co-applicants have been awarded a prestigious Programme Grant for Applied Research worth £2m from the National Institute for Health Research to carry out a programme of research aimed at improving delirium prevention for older people admitted to NHS acute hospitals.  Delirium is the most frequent, but often unrecognised, complication of hospitalisation for older people, affecting about one third of older patients admitted to medical wards. The development of delirium is associated with mortality rates of 25 – 33%, increased morbidity, functional decline and increased need for institutional care.

There is evidence that delirium could be prevented in about one third of patients using multi-component interventions, but unfortunately these are not yet routinely available in the NHS.  Previous research in the USA has led to the development of a successful delirium prevention system of care called the Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP). However, the research team believe that the uncritical transposing of a US health system model of care to NHS hospitals with a different organisation of care is unlikely to be successful without thorough review and appropriate modification.

From December 2009, the team will embark on a five year programme of research, which comprises a series of three interlinked projects involving staff, hospital volunteers and patients in at least 12 NHS hospitals, to adapt, implement and evaluate the use of the Hospital Elder Life Program within the UK context. They hope that this work will substantially raise awareness about delirium and produce a transferable system of care with the potential to reduce delirium in older patients admitted to hospital.

The research team comprises international and national leaders in delirium and elderly care research, and experts in: the development and evaluation of complex interventions, implementation research, health economics, statistics and quantitative methods, qualitative methods, person-centred care and workforce planning. The programme will be led by Prof. John Young  (Academic Unit of Elderly Care), and will include co-applicants from the University of Leeds (Prof. Anne Forster, Dr John Green, Mrs Amanda Farrin, Dr Claire Hulme, Dr Keith Hurst and Dr Najma Siddiqi) and other co-applicants:  Prof. Dawn Brooker (University of Worcester), Dr Alex Brown (Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust), Prof. Francine Cheater (Glasgow Caledonian University), Dr Jim George (North Cumbria Acute hospitals NHS Trust),  and Prof. Sharon Inouye (Harvard Medical School).”

About the Academic Unit of Elderly Care and Rehabilitation

Professor John Young, an elderly care consultant physician and Professor of Elderly Care Medicine, is head of the unit.

Contact Details

Deborah King (Office Manager)
Academic Unit of Elderly Care and Rehabilitation
Bradford Institute for Health Research
Temple Bank House
Ground Floor
Bradford Royal Infirmary
Duckworth Lane
Bradford
BD9 6RJ

Telephone: 01274 383406
Fax: 01274 382766

Read more: Academic Unit of Elderly Care and Rehabilitation (University of Leeds).

About Dementia and Elderly Care News

Dementia and Elderly Care News. Wolverhampton Medical Institute: WMI. (jh)
This entry was posted in Acute Hospitals, Delirium, For Carers (mostly), For Doctors (mostly), For Nurses and Therapists (mostly), For Researchers (mostly), Non-Pharmacological Treatments, Universal Interest and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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