Quality of Life Tool for Care Homes to be developed by BGS/Dunhill Doctoral Training Fellow

05 November 2019

Adeela Usman has been awarded the inaugural joint British Geriatrics Society/Dunhill Medical Trust Doctoral Training Fellowship to support her PhD, ‘Developing a Quality of Life Tool Around Resident and Family Priorities Which Can Be Used Routinely to Support Quality of Care in Care Homes’.

As part of her doctorate, which will be undertaken at the University of Nottingham, Adeela will explore residents’ perspectives on what constitutes quality of life (QoL) and work with residents, care home professionals, families and carers to develop a person-centred QoL tool for routine use in care homes. 

Adeela’s application demonstrated both strength and relevance. Her proposal has real potential to improve the quality of life for more than 400,000 older people living in care homes in the UK1 by producing a tool which overcomes the limitations of existing QoL measures, and more accurately reflects resident and family carer priorities. The proposed QoL tool will also be designed to generate reliable proxy responses from family carers and/or staff where residents lack the capacity to do so as a result of cognitive impairment. It is intended to help care home staff to understand what really matters to residents and so to improve the services they deliver.

Adeela is the first recipient of the BGS/Dunhill Medical Trust Doctoral Training Fellowship, which is a joint initiative to support research relevant to age-related diseases and frailty. The Fellowship will fund her PhD research over three years. Two further Doctoral Training Fellowships will be awarded over the next two years.

Adeela Usman, Recipient of the Doctoral Training Fellowship, commented:

Yes, dreams come true! Thanks to the British Geriatrics Society and the Dunhill Medical Trust for supporting my dream of putting a smile on the faces of care home residents. This fellowship will equip me with skills to undertake research that can be translated into practice. Ultimately I hope my research will contribute to a happier and healthier older population".

Dr Jonathan Hewitt, former Chair of the British Geriatrics Society’s Wales Council and a Panellist on the Selection Committee, commented:

We were delighted to award the inaugural joint British Geriatrics Society/Dunhill Medical Trust Doctoral Training Fellowship to Adeela. She showed herself to be an excellent future researcher during a rigorous interview process. Her project is very exciting with a lot of potential benefit for older people living in care homes. We wish her well.”

Susan Kay of the Dunhill Medical Trust, commented:

Developing a cohort of early career researchers with the passion, expertise and skills to provide a step change in how older people experience health and social care services is a key priority of ours so we’re delighted to be able to support this work.”

The call for the second round of applications will open in April 2020 with a deadline of 31 July 2020. Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed on 6 October 2020. Applicants must be a Member of the British Geriatrics Society for the lifetime of the grant and meet the requirements for a programme of PhD study at a UK-based University. The grant covers salary, tuition fees, and consumables.

1. Care Homes For Older People UK Market Report (Laing-Busson, 2018)

Watch Adeela's Acceptance Film