Ageing and Multiple Long-Term Conditions
The North East has significant research excellence in ageing and long-term conditions.
The majority of UK healthcare delivery involves older people with multiple long-term conditions (MLTC); these topics are therefore of critical relevance to all health and social care professionals. In comparison to the high proportion of people with MLTCs, education and training for these professionals does not adequately reflect the needs of this population. Therefore, graduates entering the NHS and social care workforce do not always have the necessary knowledge and skills to care for people with MLTCs.
Newcastle Health and Innovation Partners have convened an Education and Training Group to work with existing North East infrastructure to translate academic expertise about ageing and MLTCs into robust education and training across regional undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. NIHR Newcastle Clinical Education Incubator will support the development of key research questions to determine how education and training about MLTCs can be improved.
Based on existing exemplars of good practice across the region, we will aim to expand and improve education and training about MLTCs across programmes. Further, we aim to draw together evidence-based recommendations to discuss with national regulators of health and social care education and training in order to roll-out better learning about MLTCs nationally.
The improvement of digital literacy across our healthcare and research workforce is of increasing importance to research funders, clinicians in practice and healthcare employers. COVID-19 provided an ideal opportunity for us to gather real-world data and use it to answer big questions. An ideal example is the COVID-19 symptom tracker which helped us identify new symptoms as the pandemic progressed.
There is a wealth of data that can be used to inform treatment and studies, but there is a need for both researchers and healthcare professionals to be able to extract, manipulate and interpret it so that it can be used to inform epidemiology and public health and help us to develop effective treatments.
Our working group is bringing together key colleagues across the region to establish what is on offer, and what else is needed. We are also developing short-courses funded by the Office for Students.