"Right Care": a programme of research to enhance safe and appropriate care for older patients in Ireland

We propose a structured PhD training programme for multi-disciplinary health researchers on the topic of “Right Care” for older people. This research programme will examine how right care can be given at the right time and in the right setting, so that older people get the greatest benefit and the lowest harm from health interventions. We will train four PhD doctoral students: a statistician, a general practitioner, a physiotherapist, and a pharmacist as part of this doctoral programme with four linked doctoral projects. The first doctoral project will identify types of medical investigations, medications and surgical treatments that get used too much or too little in older patients. We will also examine how general practitioners can help older people as “gatekeepers” of the care they need as they get older. The second doctoral project will examine older people who attend the hospital emergency department or out-of-hours GP service. It will identify visits that could have been avoided and investigate ways to predict which patients will re-attend or be admitted to hospital. The third doctoral project will focus on older people discharged from the hospital emergency department who are at risk of being re-admitted. We will gather previous research on the topic and involve members of the public. Based on this, we will design a physiotherapy program for older people after they leave hospital and test how well it works in preventing unnecessary re-admission amongst older people. In the fourth doctoral project, we will use documents submitted to drug regulatory authorities that provide all the details on the testing of new medications for some types of respiratory and heart disease. This will enable us to examine the benefits and harms of these new treatments in older people and assess whether they represent good value for money for the health service.

Award Date
23 February 2018
Award Value
Principal Investigator
Professor Tom Fahey
Host Institution
Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
Collaborative Doctoral Awards