Profile – Dr Rachael Kelley

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Dr Rachael Kelley


Dr Rachael Kelley

Job Title:

Research Fellow

Place of work / study:

Centre for Dementia Research, Leeds Beckett University

Area of Research:

Care and support for people with dementia and their families

How is your work funded:

Mainly NIHR and other funding grants – my PhD was funded by a NIHR Doctoral Research Fellowship and I am currently working on another NIHR (Research for Patient Benefit) funded project.

Tell us a little about yourself:

I qualified and worked as a mental health nurse for several years before becoming involved in research. I started off mainly working in epidemiological research around self-harm at the University of Leeds, but I always wanted to move into dementia research when the opportunity arose. I applied to do a PhD in dementia to make that move, so I undertook a PhD using ethnographic methods to explore how families are involved when people with dementia are admitted to hospital, and what impact their involvement has. I loved the chance to finally do research in my main area of interest, and to learn more about ethnography. Since my PhD I have worked in a clinical trials unit, as part of an NIHR Clinical Trials Fellowship, and I now work in the Centre for Dementia Research at Leeds Beckett University undertaking research focused on improving experiences and outcomes of care for people with dementia, focused mainly on hospital, ambulance and care home settings. I also work as a visiting lecturer at the University of Leeds where I teach research methods to doctors, nurses and allied health professionals.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself:

I have eaten a deep fried caterpillar, it wasn’t very nice!

Why did you choose to work in dementia:

My grandad had Alzheimer’s Disease when I was young and even then I was fascinated by the affect it had on him. Later on I was also struck by how his care didn’t seem to be very good, so it has always been an area I was interested in. I got to learn a lot more about dementia when I qualified as a mental health nurse and worked to support people with dementia living in their own homes, a job that I loved.

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