Over two million of funding to tackle depression in older people @TEWV

A team led by Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust (TEWV), the University of York and Hull York Medical School have secured £2.4million from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to conduct ground-breaking research into managing depression in older people with long-term health conditions.

TEWV, one of the UK’s largest mental health Trusts, the University of York and Hull York Medical School, both renowned for their research in mental health, are working in partnership to deliver the Multi Morbidity in Older Adults (MODS) research programme over the next five years.

The teams have designed an innovative intervention in order to improve, physical and mental health in older people. It’s one of the first programmes of research to emerge since the ground-breaking partnership between TEWV and The University of York was formed at the end of 2017.

David Ekers, University of York Professor and TEWV nurse consultant said: “We know we face a growing challenge to meet the needs of older adults with complex physical and psychological healthcare problems. This programme offers the opportunity to develop and test a practical, acceptable treatment that builds on what we have seen can work for depression in similar groups. If the research shows our new treatment works and can be applied across NHS settings, this could be of substantial value in the coming years to patients and NHS providers alike.”

Simon Gilbody, Director of the University of York’s Mental Health and Addictions Research Group (MHARG), Hull York Medical School Professor, and honorary consultant psychiatrist at TEWV said: “The MODS programme is an important next step for us in researching ways to help promote healthy ageing. York has been at the forefront of research in this area and we anticipate this research programme will inform practice and policy for many years to come. The strategic partnership with TEWV leaves us ideally placed to respond to this and other NHS challenges. The healthy ageing challenge will only be solved by conducting rigorous research into what works and what is good value for money for the NHS and this is what the University of York does well.”

Elizabeth Moody TEWV Director of Nursing said: “The Trust is keen to make research core to the provision of care across all disciplines in order to improve outcomes for service users. The MODS programme of research, with David our first nurse professor as chief investigator, will help us develop multi-disciplinary led treatments that will meet the future needs of the communities we serve.”

TEWV Medical Director Ahmad Khouja added: “As a Trust we have continued to invest in research despite the pressures in the NHS, because only through doing so will we know what the best care and treatment is to offer our patients. This includes investing in NHS clinical, as well as academic staff, such as Professors Ekers and Gilbody who are the driving force behind clinical trials. The MODS study is an exciting programme of research that is a direct result of such investment.”

MODS brings together TEWV NHS Foundation Trust, University of York, Hull-York Medical School, University of Manchester, Leeds University, Keele University and Age UK in the programme and will work with advisory groups made up of people with lived experience, clinicians and academics.

The clinical and economic implications of depression in older people with long-term conditions, has been identified as an important priority for the NHS, and the results will be eagerly anticipated by patients and the NHS alike.