Knowledge Transfer Partnership rated Outstanding by UK Government

A research collaboration between the University of Leicester and a specialist neurological care and rehabilitation centre has been hailed as Outstanding by Innovate UK.

PJ Care, which operates across three centres in Milton Keynes and Peterborough, has revolutionised its personal care management thanks to the Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP).

The project has led to the development of a new clinical assessment framework, the Wellbeing in Dementia Inventory (WiDI), which enables continuous wellbeing monitoring among neurodegenerative patients. 

The initiative was driven by the need to address the limitations of current care standards for patients with neurological impairments in the UK, which were deemed outdated and insufficient.

Thanks to the new assessment tool, caregivers can create nuanced care plans that are responsive to the detailed wellbeing metrics of residents – many of whom are unable to communicate their needs verbally.

Professors John Maltby and Elizabeta Mukaetova-Ladinska, from the School of Psychology and Vision Sciences, led the recently completed work and provided supervision to the KTP Associate, Dr Zehra Turel.

Professor of Differential Psychology, John Maltby, said: “An Outstanding rating from Innovate UK speaks to the project’s pioneering approach to healthcare. We have addressed a crucial gap in existing practices, as no such tailored evaluation tools existed in the UK for this patient group before. 

“The tool has significantly extended PJ Care’s capabilities in data collection, management and analysis around residents’ wellbeing. We surpassed our original objective by transitioning WiDI from a simple scoring system to a sophisticated analytical framework, which not only assesses wellbeing but also integrates these assessments seamlessly into personalised care plans.

“The integration of Artificial Intelligence and the development of a specialised dashboard has allowed PJ Care to leverage data in a way that enhances both the precision and effectiveness of care delivery. The project has also empowered staff with cutting-edge resources, improving the quality of care provided within a more nurturing work environment that fosters a sense of fulfilment in their roles.”

Alexander Balicki, Head of Training at PJ Care Limited, said: “We see this as a significant step forward within the industry to supporting patients with dementia. For the first time we have a genuine metric that enables to us to review, monitor and support the wellbeing of our residents. We’re able to see the impact the interventions our clinical teams provide in relation to the different domains relating to wellbeing. More importantly our clinical teams can generate wellbeing care plans with ease and share these amongst the clinicians, commissioners and other stakeholders who want reassurance that providers like ourselves focus on improving the quality of life for highly vulnerable individuals.

“We’re really proud of the work we’ve produced with the University of Leicester over the last three years. We have created a genuine tool that has the ability to change the lives of those suffering with dementia.”

Dr Zehra Turel, who completed a PhD in Cognitive Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of Leicester, has now secured a permanent position with PJ Care as a Project Officer, leading on the development of WiDI.

The KTP programme is part of the Government’s Industrial Strategy and aims to connect businesses with the UK’s world class knowledge bases to deliver business-led innovation projects.

For businesses seeking to drive innovation and create positive impact, email to see how the University of Leicester can support you.