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RICE - The Research Institute for the Care of Older People

RICE an independent charity, founded in 1985, dedicated to research and support for people with dementia. Our commitment is to help people with dementia to live as independently as possible for as long as possible and to help reduce disease and disability in older age. We are contracted to run the NHS Memory Clinic service for Bath and north-east Somerset on behalf of BaNES NHS CCG and BaNES Council. This service is co-located with our research programme at The RICE Centre, our purpose built facility located in the grounds of the Royal United Hospital in Bath, enabling us to offer our patients opportunities to participate in appropriate clinical trials and research in the same familiar environment. We have made a significant contribution towards global research and knowledge of diseases experienced by older people. Our charitable status means we can also provide an enhanced service through additional activities supported by donations.

20 February 2019
South West
Care, Charity, Health
Local Alliances:
Bath & North East Somerset

1. Action Plan

1. The National Dementia Declaration lists seven outcomes that the DAA are seeking to achieve for people with dementia and their carers. How would you describe your organisation’s role in delivering better outcomes for people with dementia and their carers?

We are an independent charity dedicated to research and support for people with dementia, their families and carers, and improving the quality of life for everyone involved. We are contracted to run the NHS Memory Clinic service for BaNES. Our clinical and academic research includes clinical trials with potential drug and non-drug treatments.  Our approach is based on ‘care and cure’, placing patients and their carers at the heart of our work, and aligns our diagnostic and research activities to offer opportunities for all our NHS Memory Clinic patients to participate in appropriate clinical trials and research if they wish to, in the same familiar environment. We keep a register of local people interested in participating in research and also involve people registered through the national Join Dementia Research initiative.

Our charitable and research status enables us to provide additional benefits to our patients and their families through tailored courses funded by charitable donations. We offer cognitive stimulation therapy (CST); a programme for newly diagnosed patients with a parallel family support session; carers courses; and occupational and music therapy.

We work with local organisations to help signpost our patients and their families and carers to other appropriate services. Each patient discharged from RICE is also given a patient information sheet giving details of who to ask for advice. 

We need - and have - the agility to act on new opportunities and to adapt to changes in the clinical and research climate as they present. We are investing in new expertise and developing our key research partnerships to maximise our collective value.

2. What are the challenges to delivering these outcomes from the perspective of your organisation?

As an independent charity, one of our biggest challenges is resources, both financial and in terms of specialised clinical and charity expertise. Each year we must raise significant funds through research grants and public fundraising to enable our research work and run our enhanced services. Core fundraising is an essential element to achieve this. We need to balance a strong focus on both in a highly competitive market and challenging economic climate.

Member website


2. Actions

  • Provide high quality contracted Memory Clinic services for Bath and North-east Somerset, with patients and their carers at the heart, and offer additional support through tailored courses.

    Our Memory Clinic service sees patients who are referred by their GP or other health services in B&NES, or who have self-referred to a community-based memory screening clinic. We provide assessment and diagnosis for patients with memory problems thought to be dementia-related. Our goal is to help people with dementia to live as well and as independently as possible for as long as possible. We offer additional support through our Cognitive Stimulation Therapy Course, Living Well with Dementia (LivDem) -a programme for post diagnostic support, Occupational therapy and a pilot study for music therapy. We offer education for family members and carers through our Carer’s Course, and run education sessions for GPs. We benefit from collaboration with a number of support groups in our clinics - Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Support Workers, the Carers’ Centre and Curo’s Independent Living Service
  • Undertake research on dementia, aligning our dementia assessment and support services with opportunities for both treatment-related and non-treatment-related research, including other conditions in older age.

    Learning more about dementia is important and we must also look for solutions other than drug treatments to help patients and families. Our non-therapeutic research complements our on-going treatment related studies involving people at different stages of Alzheimer’s disease and related conditions from minimally or non-symptomatic subjects through to people with moderate or severe dementia. Studies run concurrently and are selected to complement each other and avoid overlap. We recruit between 4 and 12 patients per study for clinical drug trials and for non-drug and other research, anything between 20-80 patients, depending on the study and recruitment period.

  • Work in partnership with other organisations locally, nationally and internationally to promote dementia awareness, maximise research opportunity and value, and publish results.

    As we expand our research and areas of focus we must ensure we have the right expertise in the right place at the right time. We work in partnership with other academic, health and partners such as the Royal United Hospitals, Bath and Bristol University to maximise our collective value. We have an ongoing commitment to explore productive research partnerships.