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For specific Coronavirus (COVID-19) research and guidance visit the Coronavirus information hub.

Our role is to support the delivery of high-quality clinical research relevant to the care of older people. We help to manage participant recruitment to time and target, both for studies which are led from Scotland, and studies led from other nations which Scottish sites are participating in. We provide support in the following areas:

  • Managing the study portfolio record
  • Monitoring the attainment of recruitment targets
  • Providing advice on study design and feasibility
  • Troubleshooting issues with poor recruitment
  • Identifying potential sites for studies
  • Facilitating access to resource to support research, for example through the Clinical Research Facility
  • (CRF) Research Nurses
  • Facilitating research links and networking.

We oversee observational and interventional research that is relevant to the care of older people. The topics of our research include:

  • The mechanisms of ageing
  • Physical activity in older people
  • Frailty
  • Sedentary Behaviour
  • Sarcopenia
  • Dementia
  • Delirium
  • Stroke
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Falls
  • Heart failure.

Our cross-cutting work in this area necessitates a close working relationship with a number of different NHS Research Scotland Networks and Specialty Groups, namely: NRS Cardiovascular; Dermatology; Genetics; Musculoskeletal; Neuroprogressive and Dementia; and Stroke.

We have over 300 members on our mailing list from a range of disciplines including both clinicians and researchers. An annual meeting is held in February/March each year offering excellent opportunities to hear from experts in the field, for researchers to present their work and to enable group members to ‘network’.

Newsletters also help group members informed of our activities and we have close links with the British Geriatrics Society.

Patient, Carer and public information

NHS Research Scotland is committed to actively involving patients, those who care for them and the public in all aspects of the research process, including shaping future research activity. The focus of our NRS Ageing meeting in was on service user involvement in research and we invited members of the public to attend.

University of Stirling CSO funded project on Scottish Older Adults

Are you an adult aged 60+ or at-risk due to COVID-19?

The University of Stirling are exploring the impact of social distancing and self-isolation on social contact, loneliness, wellbeing and physical activity. They are encouraging older adults to take part in a survey, but also welcome participants from any age group who are 'at risk'. This may include carers or people with intellectual/physical disabilities.

University of Stirling CSO funded project on Support Workers in the Community

The University of Stirling is looking to interview (online or by telephone), people who work in community-based organisations supporting older people living in Scotland. So whether you are paid staff, or a volunteer, work full time or just a couple of hours each week, the researchers would like to hear from you.

Other Ageing related CSO funded COVID-19 projects:

  • Understanding and reducing the psychosocial impact of Coronavirus social distancing and behavioural changes on families of care home residents in Scotland (Dr George Palattiyll)
  • Online debriefings with care home staff after a resident's death: improving coping mechanism, team cohesion and communication with relatives (Ms Lucy Johnstone)
  • Avoiding burn out of care home workforce: sharing national learning and local initiatives that support resilience and retention during the COVID-19 pandemic (Ms Lucy Johnstone)  

NRS Ageing small grant funding

NRS Ageing is offering small grant funds of up to £1000 to support work leading directly to an application for major research funding. In 2019, this funded two separate projects.

"We are very grateful for the monies given to us in 2019 by NRS Ageing to support our work for the ToRCH (teaching/research-based care homes) Centre vision.  The monies have supported our work in two ways:

  • firstly, the work in successfully applying for a CSO grant which is informing our “PinCH – Pain in Care Homes” application to NIHR in April 2020
  • secondly, we have brought together six ‘partner’ care homes from across Lothian to undertake ‘tests of change’ as part of Phase 1 of ToRCH vision. We hold bi-monthly meetings. Two projects stand out in particular – one in relation to putting in different tools to help support a palliative care organisational structure and the other is about formalising ‘student placements’ from a range of health/social care disciplines"

Dr Jo Hockley, Senior Research Fellow, Palliative Care Research Group, University of Edinburgh

"The NRS funds are being used for a stakeholder event on 4th March to feedback on results of a Delphi survey to identify research priorities for palliative care for severe stroke. The Delphi was funded by a catalytic grant from CSO. We have invited Delphi participants to the stakeholder event to share the results with them, and to get their input into the next stage of our research, which is to develop an intervention to help health care professionals and families to make appropriate decisions about the appropriateness of life saving interventions in severe stroke. We will provide a further update following the event."
Prof Gillian Mead, Professor of Stroke and Elderly Care Medicine, Geriatric Medicine, University of Edinburgh

NRS Ageing at Helping all Persons to Flourish: Interdisciplinary and creative practices in care homes 2019

NRS Ageing attended the conference on Thursday 12 September at Hibernian Stadium in Edinburgh, with discussion focussing on the meaning of flourishing in care homes, transgenerational engagement, therapeutic effectiveness, creative practices, advances in technology.


NRS Ageing at the European Delirium Association Teaching Day

NRS Ageing attended the event at the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, one of the world’s major meetings on delirium which covered the state of the art in delirium research and clinical practice. The programme covered a wide spectrum of topics, from advances in clinical care in the acute hospital and community settings, quality improvement, pathophysiology, educational methods, palliative care, and clinical trials.


NRS Ageing & British Geriatric Society Scotland (BGSS) Spring Meeting 2019

The NRS Ageing & BGSS Spring Meeting took place on Friday 26 April 2019. Dr Susan Shenkin presented at the event, which had a packed schedule of experts in the field.

NRS Ageing Specialty Group Meeting 2017

Held at Queen Margaret University on 30 March 2017, structured around the theme Living Well Through Ageing: cross-disciplinary perspectives.

Presentations on the day included:

NIHR Biomedical Research Centre Academic Geriatric Medical Workshop 2018

Dr Susan Shenkin represented Scotland at the 1st NIHR BRC AGM. The workshop explored the breadth and depth of excellence across translational ageing research, and discussed ways in which this can be made more visible and accessible, particularly to research funders, academics, clinicians, students, trainees, and funders.

1st NIHR Biomedical Research Centre Academic Geriatric Medical Workshop

Specific outputs were agreed to be taken forward by the group, and a plan for a second annual workshop to update on progress has been mooted, date to be confirmed.

NRS Ageing newsletter

Key Links

Key Contacts

Specialty Lead: Dr Terry Quinn 

Performance Manager: Jacqueline Pearson

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