NHS researcher wins prestigious award for innovation


A research fellow working for a local mental health Trust has won the Medipex Innovator of the Quarter Award for coming up with a unique resource to help staff working with people with dementia provide even better care.

Rebecca Spencer, a research fellow at South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, was nominated for the award by her colleague Suzanne Wightman, senior manager of older people’s services at the Trust. For winning the award Rebecca will be awarded a cheque for £150 from Medipex.

The Medipex Innovation Awards, now in their fifth year, provide a platform to showcase new technology developed by NHS staff from around the Yorkshire and Humber region with benefits that can be adopted and used both regionally and nationally.

The ground-breaking resource developed by Rebecca and other contributors is called The Dementia Toolkit and since its launch earlier this year has already made a real difference to people with dementia by improving their overall quality of life.

The toolkit is a resource folder designed to support staff by giving them ideas about how to best care for people with dementia and support their carers. It also provides information on relevant courses and training opportunities for staff to build upon their knowledge and understanding of dementia.

The toolkit promotes meaningful engagement, wellbeing and personhood as well as positive relationships between people with dementia and their friends, relatives and carers. It helps staff and carers to communicate better with people with dementia and recommends approaches to help alleviate carer stress.

Rebecca Spencer said, "I’m thrilled to have won the Innovator of the Quarter Award and just hope that the recognition will help raise the profile of the toolkit further so it can go on to improve care for more people with dementia. So many Trust staff contributed to this innovative project and I would particularly like to thank Suzanne Wightman, Stephen Curran and Virginia Minogue for their support."

Suzanne Wightman added, "It really is a valuable resource that Rebecca should be very proud of. By giving staff ideas about how to best care for people with dementia and support their carers, the dementia toolkit ensures that older people continue to receive the best possible care that is suitable to their individual needs."

NHS researcher wins prestigious award for innovation

time to read: 2 min