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We have been keeping a close eye …

…and we are delighted to announce that MORE than 1,000 volunteers have now registered their interest through ‘Join dementia research’.

On Friday afternoon, the 1,000th volunteer registered at a memory service in the North East and North Cumbria Local Clinical Research Network, by Joanne Fenwick, a Community nurse and  the research champion for the team.

To celebrate reaching this important milestone, we talked to Joanne about peoples’ first impressions of the service.

Joanne has already had significant experience in  introducing research and helping guide people through the online form at the community mental health team (CMHT) in North Yorkshire.

Joanne also recruited the first person to the IDEAL study (Improving the experience of Dementia and Enhancing Active Life) outside the area to first trail the service, London.

“As our clinic is based in such a rural community, we have in the past found it sometimes challenging to recruit patients to research, as people find it difficult to travel to the research centres or universities in nearby Newcastle, which is a two hour drive away. With ‘Join dementia research’ and studies such as IDEAL, people can register themselves at home, and the best part, is that they can also take part in a study in the comfort of their own homes.

“I definitely think it’s making a difference in North Yorkshire. We don’t have any major hospitals in the area, so it’s making it easier for people to access research”

photo (11)Joanne explains that their memory service has recently introduced a new dementia care pathway, and that the team usually introduce ‘Join dementia research’ to patients during the post-diagnostic visit:

“We decided at an initial diagnosis, people have a lot to take on board and think about. It’s not the best time to introduce research. We usually talk to someone during our post-diagnostic support visits at home, after 4 to 6 weeks. At this time, people are looking to find out what other support might be available, and are positive and very eager about what studies they could take part in.”

The team also shares information and materials their monitoring clinics.

A big thank you to both charities…

… and also to everyone for your continued support in promoting the service. If you are interested in ordering materials such as leaflets, posters, display stands and application forms, you can do this via the weborder.formara.co.uk/jdr.

Please don’t be too disheartened if you have not been matched to a study. We are adding studies every week, and will be introducing a new study in the run up to Christmas as part of our research advent calendar, #24DaysOfDementiaResearch.

We will be launching the service nationally in the New Year, but in the meantime please do spread the word.

Have you participated in a dementia research study? We’d love to hear from you!

Have you been involved in a study on the service? What did you learn?

If you would like to share your story, please email us at comms.jdr@nihr.ac.uk. Please follow us on Facebook + Twitter!