A nurse consultant is to develop and test an intervention to help community nurses support frail patients and help them to “live healthier lives”.
Helen Lyndon, a nurse consultant for older people, has begun a National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) clinical doctoral research fellowship at the University of Plymouth.
“We’re looking forward to seeing the progress of this intervention”
Ms Lyndon, who works for Cornwall Partnership Foundation NHS Trust, will conduct a feasibility study aimed at developing, implementing and testing a nurse-led intervention to improve healthy living in older people with frailty.
Known as the HAPPI study – Holistic Assessment and care Planning in Partnership Intervention – the research will take place over four years, and is being supervised by nursing academics at Plymouth’s faculty of health and human sciences.
Ms Lyndon 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 or home settings, with a particular interest in supporting older people with long-term conditions.
While undertaking her PhD, her fellowship enables her to continue with her clinical work.
She 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 utilise the intervention straight away,” said Ms Lyndon.
“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,” she added.
The work will see her collect qualitative data to develop and refine the intervention, work with Peninsula Clinical Trials Unit to carry out a randomised control trial to test the intervention’s feasibility, and gain feedback from patients and clinicians on its effectiveness.
She added: “The first weeks of my experience here have been brilliant, and I’m looking forward to the next four years.”
Jos Latour, professor in clinical nursing, said: “It’s fantastic that Helen has chosen to undertake her PhD at the University of Plymouth and that she was successful in obtaining the NIHR 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.”