Care for those who need it

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Health chiefs in Doncaster are spearheading a multi-million pound research programme to look at how to improve care for people with long term illnesses.

The £24 million scheme will see specialists from Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust look at new ways of caring for people with conditions like diabetes, mental health issues and the lung disease chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Throughout the four-year programme, starting next January, there will be a range of research projects aimed at improving the health and wellbeing of patients.

Dr Trevor Rogers, director of research and development and a consultant respiratory physician at the Trust, said: “We are excited about the opportunities and potential benefits of this programme for people in Doncaster, Bassetlaw and the other communities we serve.

“Long-term conditions like diabetes, stroke and COPD can have a major impact on both the length and the quality of a person’s life.

“There are some exciting new technologies, however, that may help people manage their condition better or provide early warning if it is deteriorating. We will be taking a lead role on the scheme.”

Project leaders have yet to finalise what the pilots will be, but one scheme they are intending to trial is ‘remote health’ support.

The scheme involves using equipment to monitor patients’ conditions remotely and adjusting care to suit their needs.

Dr Rogers added: “We would monitor things like blood pressure and can see the data on a computer at the hospital.

“If a patient then needs extra medicine we can send someone out to see them.

“We are still working out the pilots but we will be encouraging patients to collaborate with us. The idea is to have programmes in place by the end of it to improve the care of people with long term illnesses.”

Doncaster is one of 39 partners involved in the project, collectively called the Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care, Yorkshire and Humber.

The collaboration has invested £14 million, including around £400,000 from Doncaster. A further £10m is being provided through a grant from the National Institute for Health Research.

Professor Sue Mawson, director of the collaboration, said: “Yorkshire and Humber has some of the highest levels of social deprivation and health inequalities in the country, and the north-south divide is growing, so this is a significant investment which will enable us to address some of the huge health challenges we face.

“This will put us in a strong position to become a world leader in health services research and healthcare innovation, transforming the health of thousands of people living in the region and beyond.”

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