News: March 2017

Can ‘lay carers’ help more at the end of life?

Most people in the UK who are dying would prefer to be looked after at home.  Health care professionals try to enable this to happen.  A new research project led by Bangor University is investigating one way to make this a reality for more people.

Home care is usually provided by District Nurses, working with many other team members including general practitioners, hospice doctors and nurses, and Macmillan or Marie Curie services.  Family members are taught how to care for their loved one, and generally call a District Nurse if there are difficult symptoms.  As people get weaker in the last few weeks or days of life, they become unable to swallow.  At this point, a syringe driver is set up to give medicines under the skin over 24 hours.  While this often relieves most symptoms, some symptoms may break through and need extra doses of medication (called ‘breakthrough’ symptoms).   Then, the family usually call in the district nurse who can give extra doses of medicine as injections.  But, this can take a long time, often more than an hour.  The wait can be distressing for the patient and their carers, who then feel powerless to help.   Usually, family care would not include giving injections for these breakthrough symptoms, even though this is legal and practical.

Bangor University is working with partners in Cardiff University and Gloucester NHS Trust, to research whether lay carer role extension to give these ‘as needed’ injections should be more widely adopted or not in the UK. 

Publication date: 15 March 2017

Bangor University subjects join elite in world table

Newly published analysis of the latest influential QS World University Rankings, which saw Bangor University soar to 411th position worldwide, now provides further information on rankings for different subject areas among the world’s best universities.

Six subjects and one subject area taught at Bangor University feature among the world’s elite universities in this year’s release of the QS World University Rankings by Subject, with Agriculture and Forestry appearing in the top 100 institutions worldwide who teach the subject and rising from among last year’s 200 top Universities.

Publication date: 8 March 2017