The Department of Nursing Midwifery and Health undertakes research to inform policy and practice relevant to the healthcare workforce, improving the quality, safety and effectiveness of nursing and public health practice in hospital and community contexts, and informing innovation.
We seek to address major questions faced by contemporary healthcare including how to respond to the needs of an ageing population; how to prepare staff and services to deliver safe, high quality, patient-centred and compassionate care, and how to develop and deliver efficient and effective services that improve health while giving value for money.
The majority of patients in hospital and in the community are over 75 with the average age of hospital patients being over 80. As life expectancy lengthens, the proportion of older people needing care is increasing. This trend is set to continue as people aged 85 and over are the fastest growing age group in the UK. Dementia is now the leading cause of death in UK. Over a quarter of the population in England has a long term (chronic) condition (LTC) and an increasing proportion of people have two or more long term conditions. The NHS Five Year Forward View notes that ’long term conditions are now a central task of the NHS’. For a significant number of people, old age brings frailty and that often means living with more than one long-term medical condition.
Nursing and healthcare are provided in a complex and rapidly changing environment, as services are transformed to meet new aspirations and objectives. Innovations in provision are essential, and understanding whether and how they work is important. Professionals also encounter many vulnerable /hard to reach/ marginalised groups, and researchers have a role in highlighting needs and developing appropriate service responses. Members of the Department work closely with the MDRT for Integrated Health and Social Care to address these and related issues. Members of the Department are also part of the Northern Hub for Veterans and Military Families Research, which focuses on improving the health and social wellbeing of veterans of their families.