Cini Bhanu

Cini Bhanu

Research Training Fellow

I am a General Practitioner and my interest in healthy ageing and improving outcomes for older people in primary care has developed over the course of my NIHR Academic Clinical Fellowship (ACF) at the Centre for Ageing Population Studies, UCL. During this time, I undertook a number of studies exploring mental health, nutrition and hydration in older people and an MRes in Public Health to develop my research skills. Most recently, I was involved in a Dunhill funded study examining GP service use in people living with dementia using a large UK Primary Care electronic records database, The Health Improvement Network (THIN) containing 11.1 million records. Based on this data, we have made recommendations for how routine physical healthcare could be better delivered in GP for people with dementia.

Many of the studies during my ACF highlighted trends towards increasing polypharmacy in older people. I wanted to explore the safety of cumulative combinations of drugs using longitudinal THIN data, where clinical trials and other observational models may not be feasible. In September 2019, enabled by a Dunhill Medical Trust Doctoral Research Fellowship, I will undertake a PhD to examine the cumulative risk of medications with hypotensive side effects in older people (and how this may alter in sub-groups at greater risk, such as dementia and frailty) using THIN and the Delirium and Population Health Informatics Cohort (DELPHIC), supervised by Professor Kate Walters and Professor Irene Petersen at the Primary Care and Population Health department, UCL.

With the support of this DMT fellowship, I hope to pursue a clinical academic career to inform the evolving role of General Practice in healthy ageing and care for older people.