A lecturer at University of Limerick has received funding for a project exploring a new method of care for older people discharged from hospital emergency departments.
Dr Rose Galvin, a Senior Lecturer in Physiotherapy at UL, is one of five new research leaders awarded a total of €7.5m in Health Research Board (HRB) funding.
The HRB investment will support the five new research leaders to conduct research programmes that will deliver evidence to directly inform changes in health policy and practice.
Each of the research leaders has developed strong partnerships with different parts of the health sector and will include public and patient perspectives in their work.
The research project to be led by Dr Galvin at UL is ‘Towards an integrated model of care for older adults transitioning from the Emergency Department to the community’.
Dr Galvin’s programme of research concentrates on older adults who are discharged to the community after they present to the Emergency Department (ED) because research indicates that these older adults can be at risk of poor outcomes following ED discharge.
“This research programme responds to key actionable strategic priorities identified in national ageing, emergency care and integrated care policies relating to the development and delivery of a continuum of high-quality care services that are responsive to the needs and preferences of older adults,” Dr Galvin explained.
Dr Galvin aims to develop and evaluate a streamlined and coordinated care pathway so that these older adults get the care that they need, when they need it, in a straightforward way that achieves the desired results for them and provides value for money.
“Older adults frequently attend the Emergency Department and research suggests high rates of adverse outcomes following emergency care,” she explained.
“This research programme seeks to develop and implement an evidence-based model of integrated care for older people who are discharged from the Emergency Department, that is planned around their needs and choices, and supports them to live well in their own homes and communities,” she added.
The project will involve collaboration and engagement with service users, advocacy groups, health decision makers and health practitioners.
For the last two years, Dr Galvin has led the nationally funded study, OPTIMEND, with a multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals at University Hospital Limerick (UHL) to explore a new model of ED care for older people.
Dr Darrin Morrissey, CEO of the HRB, said of the funding for the five researchers: “It is essential that we support health research leaders who can deliver solid evidence to improve decision making, practice and policy in relation topical health issues such as health service reform, mental health and antimicrobial resistance.”
Each HRB funded programme will be conducted over a five-year period.