hero image
Professor Claire Surr - University Alliance. Leeds, England, GB

Professor Claire Surr

Professor of Dementia Studies and Director of the Centre for Dementia Research | Leeds Beckett University

Leeds, England, UNITED KINGDOM

Her research addresses care and support for people living with dementia and those who care for them.

Areas of Expertise (8)

General Hospitals

Social Care

Patient Support



Care Homes

Training in Dementia Care

Alzheimer’s Disease


Professor Claire Surr is Professor of Dementia Studies and Director of the Centre for Dementia Research at Leeds Beckett University. Her research addresses care and support for people living with dementia and those who care for them. She has a particular interest in designing and implementing interventions and approaches to improving formal dementia care services and care - with a focus on care homes and general hospitals. Her work explores care experiences and the support needs of people with both cancer and dementia and interventions to support care home staff to deliver high quality dementia care.

Claire is internationally recognised for her research and academic leadership around dementia education and training for the health and social care workforce, having led a national study examining the factors associated with effective training design, delivery and implementation. The findings are embedded within UK and international governmental and practice guidance on dementia education and training and are being implemented in the design and delivery of dementia training by health and social care providers globally. She is a member of the National Institute for Health Research, Research for Patient Benefit (NIHR RfPB) Yorkshire and the Humber funding panel and a member of the Alzheimer’s Society Care and Services Research Board.

Media Mentions (5)

Dilemma of Dementia

Asian Lite International  online


Of the many health challenges we face, dementia is a rapidly growing area of concern for the person affected, their family and the NHS too. The Centre for Dementia Research at Leeds Beckett University established in 2017 and ably led by Professor Claire Surr includes a team of members from a wide range of subject areas including health, psychology, the arts and media, education, computing and sport.

view more

Shifting the Culture of Care

Dementia Connections Blog  online


While attending the University of Bradford in the UK, Claire Surr studied under Dr. Tom Kitwood, who pioneered the concept of person-centred dementia care. Now a researcher who has specialized in dementia care for her entire career and currently working out of Leeds Beckett University, Surr focuses on high-quality education of the dementia care workforce so that they can best deliver individualized person-centred care to people with dementia.

view more

Study will examine experience of people who have dementia and cancer

Nursing Standard  online


A leading dementia researcher has received a 155,000 grant to examine ways to improve cancer treatment and care for people who have both cancer and dementia. Leeds Beckett University professor of dementia studies Claire Surr will lead a team of researchers to profile the size and demographics of the population of people with cancer and dementia from a large dataset of GP records.

view more

Study into dementia and cancer care

Yorkshire Evening Post  print


The Leeds Beckett team is led by Claire Surr, the university’s Professor of Dementia Studies. Prof Surr said: “Cancer and dementia are conditions that affect many older people, and the little research we have suggests many may have both conditions, however we don’t currently have any accurate figures on the size of the population or their experiences.”

view more

Tool launched to reduce ‘variability’ in dementia training quality

Nursing Times  online


The research team was led by Professor Claire Surr, from Leeds Beckett, with colleagues from the University of Bradford and the University of Leeds. Professor Surr said: “There has been a strong agenda around making sure we have an informed and effective dementia care workforce for a number of years and a huge drive, therefore, to increase staff training in that area.

view more

Multimedia Appearances





Professor Claire Surr - Dementia Research Professor Claire Surr - Dementia's coming of age Cancer and Dementia



Accomplishments (3)

Educate North and UK Leadership Awards – Research team of the Year (EPIC Trial)


National Teaching Fellow


University of Bradford Research and Knowledge Transfer Awards, Business Innovation Category: Highly Commended


Education (3)

University of Bradford: PG Dip, Division of Nursing 2008

University of Bradford: PhD, Division of Dementia Studies 2004

University of Bradford: BA (Hons), Interdisciplinary Human Studies 1998

Affiliations (3)

  • College of Experts for NIHR’s call for COVID Recovery and Learning Research
  • National Institute for Health Research, Research for Patient Benefit - Yorkshire and the North East funding panel member
  • Alzheimer’s Society Care and Services Research Board

Articles (9)

Understanding and identifying ways to improve hospital-based cancer care and treatment for people with dementia: an ethnographic study

Age and Aging

2020 Providing cancer care and treatment for ageing populations with complicating comorbidities like dementia is a growing global challenge. This study aimed to examine the hospital-based cancer care and treatment challenges and support needs of people with dementia, and identify potential ways to address these.

view more

Barriers and Facilitators to implementing dementia training in health and social care services

BMC Health Services Research

2020 The health and social care workforce requires access to appropriate education and training to provide quality care for people with dementia. Success of a training programme depends on staff ability to put their learning into practice through behaviour change. This study aimed to investigate the barriers and facilitators to implementation of dementia education and training in health and social care services using the Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF) and COM-B model of behaviour change.

view more

Effectiveness of Dementia Care MappingTM to reduce agitation in care home residents with dementia: an open-cohort cluster randomised controlled trial

Aging & Mental Health

2020 Agitation is common and problematic in care home residents with dementia. This study investigated the (cost)effectiveness of Dementia Care Mapping™ (DCM) for reducing agitation in this population.

view more

A biopsychosocial interpretation of the Neuropsychiatric Inventory-Nursing Home (NH): reconceptualising psychiatric symptom attributions

BJPsych Open

2020 The Neuropsychiatric Inventory is predicated on the assumption that psychiatric symptoms are manifestations of disease. Biopsychosocial theories suggest behavioural changes viewed as psychiatric may also arise as a result of external behavioural triggers.

view more

Navigating cancer treatment and care when living with comorbid dementia: an ethnographic study

Supportive Care in Cancer

2020 The risks of developing cancer and dementia increase as we age; however, this comorbidity remains relatively under-researched. This study reports on the challenges that people affected by comorbid cancer and dementia face when navigating engagement with cancer treatment within secondary care.

view more

Acceptability and feasibility study of a six-week person-centred, therapeutic visual art intervention for people with dementia

Arts & Health

2020 There has been increasing interest in dementia, the arts and creativity across different disciplines in recent years, with previous literature illustrating the benefits of visual arts for people with dementia.

view more

The influence of care home managers on the implementation of a complex intervention: findings from the process evaluation of a randomised controlled trial of dementia care mapping

BMC Geriatrics

2020 Many people with dementia live in care homes, where staff can struggle to meet their complex needs. Successful practice improvement interventions in these settings require strong managerial support, but little is known about how managers can support implementation in practice, or what factors support or hinder care home managers in providing this support.

view more

Components of impactful dementia training for general hospital staff: a collective case study

Aging and Mental Health

2018 People with dementia occupy around one quarter of general hospital beds, with concerns consistently raised about care quality. Improving workforce knowledge, skills and attitudes is a mechanism for addressing this. However little is known about effective ways of training healthcare staff about dementia. This study aimed to understand models of dementia training most likely to lead to improved practice and better care experiences for people with dementia, and to understand barriers and facilitators to implementation.

view more

Effective dementia education and training for the health and social care workforce: A systematic review of the literature

Review of Educational Research

2017 Ensuring an informed and effective dementia workforce is of international concern; however, there remains limited understanding of how this can be achieved. This review aimed to identify features of effective dementia educational programs. Critical interpretive synthesis underpinned by Kirkpatrick’s return on investment model was applied. One hundred and fifty-two papers of variable quality were included.

view more