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 has developed 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 are actively expanding and improving 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.

Digital Literacy

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.

We are bringing together key colleagues across the region to establish what is on offer, and what else is needed, and how we can work together as a partnership to upskill colleagues in the region.

Young at Heart Clinic

Newcastle City Council and Newcastle University’s School of Pharmacy have united to create the Young@Heart clinic – a partnership project which offers student-led health checks for the local community.

The drop-in clinic is located within the Grainger Market and is open to members of the local community between 9am and 3pm (term time) on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Under supervision from a clinical lead, pharmacy students provide free health checks, such as blood pressure, glucose levels and cholesterol checks. They also offer health and lifestyle advice based on the results and, if needed, signpost people to further support services.

The Young@Heart clinic is an innovative approach to student learning that offers invaluable experience to the next generation of Pharmacists studying at Newcastle University.  Students provide this service as part of their work-based placements in the undergraduate pharmacy program, which supports their training and also helps them to build the skills they will need to advise members of the public before they graduate.

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