Our challenge:

To support patients and carers with dementia, while leading on new research.

How we tackled it:

The NIHR/Wellcome Trust clinical research facility at Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is involving people with dementia in research so they can get new treatments more quickly. The aim is to improve care through joining up services to help them live at home safely.

Leo and Pat AlzheimersLeo Byrne and his wife Pat are among those who have benefitted from the research programme. Leo has been looking after Pat since she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2010. The couple asked their consultant to refer them to take part in research they were eligible for. Nurses visited them at home to explain how they would be involved.

Leo said: “The doctors and nurses were very friendly and caring and took the time to listen to us, offering help and advice where they could. I was impressed with their extensive knowledge of how Alzheimer’s affects a couple’s daily life. It was comforting to deal with people who understood our situation and had time to discuss it with us, and the impact – including on me as a carer.

“We came away feeling we’d done something worthwhile and hopefully contributed to halting or preventing Alzheimer’s.”

What changed:

Our region now recruits among the highest number of patients with dementia into clinical research in the UK, and is on track to meet the Prime Minister’s Challenge of enrolling 10 per cent of people with the disease into studies by 2016.

Devolution focus:

A priority is to speed up the discovery, development and delivery of new treatments for people with dementia.