June 12, 2019
By Lizzie Welch, Research Officer at PSSRU Kent
Last month I joined the ASCOT team at the University of Kent. I have come on board at an incredibly busy time and it’s my role to bring some order to the numerous exciting developments happening in ASCOT. Due to the high international demand for training, we are currently working on new online courses. This will enable ASCOT to become more accessible to international audiences, as well as those wanting to use it in the UK, enhancing our impact even further. ASCOT is shortlisted as one of SSPSSR’s potential REF 2021 impact case studies and part of my role is to support this. This international demand for use and training has come from all over the world – Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Austria, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Norway, Spain and even as far afield as Japan and Australia.
In Japan, the ASCOT-Carer has been translated by Professor Mai Yamaguchi at the Japan Lutheran College and Stacey Rand is working with Professor Yamaguchi to determine how the tool could be used in the assessment of carers’ needs in Japan. Ann-Marie Towers has just returned from Sydney, Australia, after running the first ‘train the trainer’ course with the Whiddon Group to support their use of “ASCOT in Care Planning”. The Whiddon Group are a large provider of aged care in New South Wales who conducted a small pilot study using ASCOT in care planning conversations, using a Circle of Care approach (Towers, Nelson, Smith and Razik, 2018*). This innovative and inclusive use of the measure to focus care planning conversations on quality of life outcomes has contributed to Whiddon receiving several accolades, including a national award for aged care excellence in 2018 (https://www.whiddon.com.au/whiddon-wins-national-award-for-aged-care-excellence/). Nine other Australian providers have also expressed interest in receiving ASCOT training, more info on this to come!
Of course, we continue to train in the UK – Nick Smith has recently been in Nottingham delivering training to a number of academics and practitioners and Ann-Marie has been providing training and support for its use in Northern Ireland. As part of this work, we have extended our training team to include Grace Collins and Sinead Palmer, researchers who have been using ASCOT in care homes for a number of years, and I may also get involved too.
So how to describe ASCOT? It’s exciting and fast moving and I am surrounded by an enthusiastic and supportive team …….and in terms of where ASCOT go next…..I think this picture captures it.
*Towers, A. Nelson, K. Smith, N. and Razik, K. (2018). Using ASCOT in Care Planning Conversations. Australian Journal of Dementia Care. December 2018/January 2019.