Multimorbidity, ageing and frailty

Supporting the wellbeing and care of older people, particularly those living with multiple health conditions, age-related illness and frailty.


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Longer lives and improved detection and treatment of disease, have increased the number of older people living with multiple health conditions and frailty.

Common health conditions in later life include high blood pressure, breathing difficulties, mental health problems including dementia, joint disease and diabetes. Older people are often prescribed many medications (polypharmacy) to treat different health conditions.

The aim of our work is to produce high-quality research evidence to promote healthy ageing, prevent disability and optimise the care and quality of life of older people living with illness, frailty and multiple health conditions.

Our early projects include:

  • Long term care – identifying and addressing issues of importance in our region, including supporting the implementation of digital innovations and development of a minimum dataset
  • Supporting the implementation and evaluation of a regional approach to frailty care – working with partners including our region’s Academic Health Science Network (AHSN)
  • Care, connections and community – exploring how best to address the consequences of loneliness, isolation or exclusion for health and wellbeing
  • Prevention and management of multimorbidity and polypharmacy – critically appraising existing interventions and selecting the most promising for community-based testing.
  • Our partnership group contains representatives from primary care, CCGs, acute trusts, our AHSN, social care, the care home industry and the voluntary sector.

End of life care and inequalities will run as themes throughout all of our work, and our research will address key areas in the Government’s Ageing Society ‘Grand Challenge’ – part of its Industrial Strategy.

Our research projects

Our projects include:

Do employers feel that “one size fits all” bereavement training helps create compassionate employers and public facing organisations or are bespoke packages required? (BETTER)   [email protected]

Development of a standard evaluation method for evaluating the impact of frailty pathways/models of care and outcomes. [email protected]

Improving the accessibility of medicines review services in primary care for older people from ethnic minority communities – a qualitative investigation and co-design process. [email protected]

Researching the impact of a new, innovative workforce development strategy for Enhanced Care for Older People with Complex Needs (EnCOP). [email protected]

REAL general practice toolkit for Shared Decision Making (REAL SDM): Developing a skills development programme to prepare patients with multi-morbidity to engage in person-centred discussions with clinicians to identify their priorities and options for living well [email protected]

Exploring older people’s support needs for making healthier decisions about alcohol during COVID-19 and/or Understanding co-occurring alcohol and mental health problems amongst older people, and developing holistic, age-tailored and integrated approaches in local primary care and community alcohol and mental health services –  [email protected]

Diagnostics in care homes in the post-pandemic world: A needs-led scoping and prioritisation exercise [email protected]