A DOCTOR’S efforts to improve end-of-life dementia care is being recognised through a university scholarship launched in her honour.

Dr Wendy Baxter nursed her father through dementia before she was diagnosed with the disease, which also claimed her mother’s life.

She was awarded a MBE for her pioneering work in palliative care for cancer patients, serving as medical director at Accord Hospice, in Paisley.

And her first-hand experience of dementia strengthened her resolve that the same standards should be applied to the disease that claimed the lives of both of her parents.

Now the University of the West of Scotland (UWS) is offering a PHD scholarship, funded by her family, which aims to address gaps in support.

Wendy died in June last year, at the age of 76, and her husband Ronald, who lives in East Renfrewshire, believes the scholarship is a fitting tribute.

He said: “Wendy was a palliative care doctor but her father developed dementia and it triggered her to stop so that she could look after him.

“The interesting thing was that he got worse and had to be admitted to one of the care homes in Paisley. Wendy found herself trying to teach them everything she knew about medicine and drugs.

“She went back to the hospice to teach palliative care in dementia and she gave a personal account of the failings of it – that was 10 years ago. There were a lot of simple things that staff didn’t really recognise.”

Wendy was diagnosed with vascular dementia in 2017 and was later placed in a care home.

Ronald, who is a retired heart specialist and lives in Newton Mearns, added: “I have a very vivid memory of going to see her and she didn’t understand what was going on and it was really quite upsetting.”

Wendy’s daughter Caroline said of the scholarship: “What’s important is that it’s a translational research project that can show true benefits.

“I think that’s what she was truly interested in – how you could change practice.”

Professor Debbie Tolson, director of the Alzheimer Scotland Centre for Policy and Practice at UWS, added: “Everyone at the centre, UWS and Alzheimer Scotland is incredibly grateful to Wendy’s family for this generous donation, which will ensure her legacy lives on through practice-changing research to be undertaken by our chosen PhD scholar.”