Our Entrepreneurs: Frances Duffy

Meet #OurEntrepreneurs. Introducing Dr Frances Duffy a Consultant Lead Clinical Psychologist from Northern Ireland.

Tell us a bit about yourself 

I am a consultant clinical psychologist working in the Northern Health and Social Care Trust (NHSCT), Northern Ireland. 

My clinical work is in older people’s mental health and includes diagnosis of dementia, post diagnostic support and specialist rehabilitation in delirium. I work with colleagues on regional and national committees to improve the experience and quality of life of older people and people living with dementia, including the Northern Ireland Regional Dementia Improvement Collaborative who produced the Regional Dementia Care Pathway. 

Name: Frances Duffy, NHS Clinical Entrepreneur Cohort 6

Occupation: Consultant Lead Clinical Psychologist, Northern Ireland

Frances Duffy

In collaboration with the Northern Ireland Dementia Analytics Research Users Group (DARUG), I am engaged in research to improve diagnosis and post diagnostic support in dementia.  This includes using Artificial Intelligence to support diagnosis.  I have co-authored research papers and a range of best practice guidelines to help support older people, people living with dementia and their carers.  

Why did you apply to the programme and what are you looking forward to? 

I heard about the Clinical Entrepreneur Programme through an email in my trust and thought it sounded like a really good fit for my interests. I am passionate about finding innovative ways to understand and improve the experience of people who need support and access our services. People living with dementia frequently experience unnecessary distress as they try to meet their needs in a confusing world.  This distress is exacerbated when other people don’t understand how best to offer support.

I am looking forward to the opportunity of mentoring provided by the programme, meeting and learning from fellow entrepreneurs and developing new skills.

Tell us about your innovation  

There are currently around 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK, and this is predicted to increase to 2 million by 2051. Dementia costs the UK Economy £26.3bn p.a. Improving dementia care is a key priority for the NHS.  Around 90% of people with dementia present with behaviours that carers find difficult to understand. These behaviours are frequently managed by unhelpful medications with significant risks, and they can lead to unnecessary breakdown in placement or hospital admission.

I developed CLEAR Dementia Care©, an innovative model to help carers to understand dementia and respond to changes in behaviour to reduce potential distress.  CLEAR Dementia Care has demonstrated improved clinical outcomes, increased clinical efficiency, financial savings, improved wellbeing for people with dementia and improved staff performance.   

Training programmes have been developed and delivered to NHS and other organisations who are successfully implementing the model.  The CLEAR Dementia Care App provides information about dementia and changes in behaviour, and is free to download from the App store and google play.  

What ambitions do you have for the next year? 

I hope to make CLEAR Dementia Care training accessible to a wider audience.  It is important that carers and staff who offer support and services to people with dementia have greater understanding of dementia.  This will help to improve their experience and quality of life.  

How can we find out more?

Please contact me for more information,CLEAR.DementiaCare@northerntrust.hscni.net or visit the website www. northerntrust.hscni.net/CLEAR or you can also download the free CLEAR Dementia Care App available to download at Google Play and the App Store

Frances is part of our Northern Ireland Cohort for 2022. The NHS Clinical Entrepreneur Programme is proud to be working in partnership with HIRANI and Invest NI to extend the programme to healthcare professionals in Northern Ireland. To find out more, please get in touch.


Published by Lucy Dentice

Deputy Programme Manager for the NHS Clinical Entrepreneur Programme.