HAPPI Study will help older people live healthier lives

Although statistics show that people are living longer, they are not necessarily living healthier says Helen Lyndon, a Nurse Consultant for older people in Cornwall.

HAPPI Study will help older people live healthier lives

So to help older people live healthier lives, Helen has begun a PhD at Plymouth University as part of a Clinical Academic Doctoral Research Fellowship.

Funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), the fellowship will see Helen, who works for the Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation NHS Trust, conduct a feasibility study aimed at developing, implementing and testing nurse-led interventions to improve healthy living in older people with frailty.

The Holistic Assessment and Care Planning in Partnership Intervention (HAPPI) study will take place over a four year period.

Helen recently completed a two-year secondment as the Clinical Lead for Frailty with NHS England and has spent the majority of her career in community primary care and home settings, with a particular interest in supporting older people with long-term health conditions.

While undertaking her PhD Helen’s fellowship enables her to continue her clinical work.

Helen said: “The intervention I’m developing will ask the question ‘what can we do better to help older people live healthier lives’. It focuses on supporting older people living with frailty in a primary care setting, meaning a community nurse could use the intervention straight away.

“It’s great that people are living longer, but research shows that this does not necessarily mean they’re living a healthy life and I’m keen to help nurses and health professionals to ensure that older people living with frailty have the best quality of life possible.”

“When choosing an institution for my PhD, I picked Plymouth University as they have an excellent reputation; I had also met Professor Bridie Kent, Head of School / Associate Dean of Nursing and Midwifery Faculty of Health & Human Sciences at the university and knew how supportive she and her colleagues had been.

Helen added, “The first weeks of my experience have been brilliant and I’m looking forward to the next four years.”

Professor Kent said, “It’s fantastic that Helen has chosen to undertake her PhD at Plymouth and that she was successful in obtaining the fellowship.”

“The fellowship promotes clinical academic career development and we’re looking forward to seeing the progress of this intervention to help improve the health and wellbeing of older people.”