Thursday 28 March 2019

Newcastle ageing expert receives honours at Buckingham Palace

Leading academic specialising in ageing research and dementia care, Professor Louise (Ann) Robinson has received her damehood at a ceremony that took place at Buckingham Palace on Thursday 28th March.

It was announced that Professor Dame Robinson would be recognised for her services to Primary Care and for improving older people’s quality of life and care they receive, in the Queen’s New Year Honours earlier in the year.

Speaking of the event in March she said: “It was a huge honour to attend the celebration and I am very proud to receive this title from the Duke of Cambridge in recognition for my work, which to me, has been not a job but a lifelong passion to improve the care of older people, especially those living with dementia.”

Leading ageing research in Newcastle

Professor Dame Robinson is Director of Newcastle University’s Institute for Ageing, where academics, clinicians and researchers work on all aspects of ageing – from medical, biological and cellular, to psychosocial, economic and environmental aspects.

As director of the Institute, she looks after more than 700 academics and was a key figure in the successful £40m bid to Government for Newcastle University to host the National Innovation Centre for Ageing (NICA). NICA is among the first in the country to bring together business, academia and the public to develop innovative products and services that make older lives better.

Her research focuses not only on helping people remain healthy and independent for as long as possible, but also to facilitate healthy ageing across the life course, and she has led and contributed to more than 120 peer reviewed research papers focusing on these areas.

Recognition for ageing research

By Royal appointment, Professor Robinson was given the only Regius Professorship of Ageing in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the field.

In 2012, she was one of the first National Institute for Health Research professorships to be awarded for her ‘Living well with dementia’ programme, focused on cost-effective psychosocial interventions for dementia care, the role of assistive technologies and better quality end of life care.

Professor Robinson was primary care lead for the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) National Guidelines Committee, Dementia Health and Social Care review (2015-17). The Government Office for Science Foresight Future of Ageing programme (2015-16) commissioned her to be the lead author of the expert review on recommendations for future community care provision for older people.

The Royal College General Practitioners has twice made her the National Clinical Champion for Ageing, which is testament to her commitment to improving the health and wellbeing of older people in primary care, through evidence based practice. And last year, it was announced that Professor Robinson would lead a £2m Global Health Research programme for three years into dementia, focusing on care and prevention of the condition worldwide.

Most recently the Alzheimer’s Society funded Professor Robinson and her team £1.7m to create a ‘Centre of Excellence’ at Newcastle University to focus on key priority areas within dementia care research.

Read more about Professor Dame Louise Robinson’s work.