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Developing the dementia workforce

We're supporting the development of an informed and effective workforce for people living with dementia.

Dementia

There are 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK, with numbers set to rise to over 1 million by 2025 and 2 million by 2051. In response to the Prime Ministers Challenge on Dementia 2020 and the 2015-16 Mandate from the Government to Health Education England (HEE) we're supporting the development of an informed and effective workforce for people living with dementia.

This means all health and social care staff involved in the care of people who may have dementia, should have the necessary skills to provide the best quality care in the roles and settings where they work. This is being achieved through the delivery of effective basic training alongside continuous professional and vocational development in dementia.

For more information email the dementia project team: Jan Zietara.

Dementia Training Standards Framework

The Dementia Training Standards Framework is an extraordinarily useful resource which details the essential skills and knowledge necessary across the health and social care spectrum.  A recent update and review included a number of additions regarding food, drink and oral health. We are confident that this framework will help guide a more efficient and consistent approach to the delivery of dementia training and education. 

Take a look at our page to find out more. 

Dementia roadmap

Aimed at those working in primary care, the Dementia Roadmap helps diagnose, support and signpost people with dementia.

It provides high quality information about the dementia journey alongside local information about services, support groups and care pathways to assist primary care staff to more effectively support people with dementia and cognitive impairment, their families and carers.

The Dementia Guide for Carers and Care Providers offers practical information for anyone caring for a person with dementia and has been developed by our Thames Valley team in collaboration with healthcare professionals, educators and carers. The guide aims to support an understanding of the progressive nature of dementia and the challenges a person caring for someone with dementia may experience. Its focus is on living well with dementia.

The guide:

shares information that will help support the journey of those with dementia, once they have been diagnosed
acts as a tool for carers and care providers, working together and using the guide establish greater knowledge and understanding of what is required when a person is diagnosed with dementia
answers questions from carers and care providers about services that will be required to support them and the person they are caring for
provides information in a language that is understandable to all, highlighting that dementia is everyone’s business, emphasising that the person with dementia is central and that they should receive the advice and support they need to live well.

If you have an eReader, the Dementia Guide for Carers and Care Providers eBook is available for free from iBooks, the Kindle Store and Smashwords or alternatively as an app through the Apple App Store.

We asked some dementia experts what they thought of the guide, you can watch their reactions here.

The number of people with dementia of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) origin is expected to rise significantly – a seven fold increase over 40 years compared to a two fold increase in the number of people with dementia across the whole UK population in the same period. 

It is recognised that within the BAME communities there is low awareness of dementia and low numbers of people accessing dementia services. The Prime Ministers Challenge on Dementia 2020 outlines the need to reduce variation in dementia care, support and access across age, gender, and ethnicity.  It commits to “an increase in the numbers of people of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic origin and other seldom heard groups who receive a diagnosis of dementia” and greater provision of culturally competent care, with staff better able to meet the diverse needs of people with dementia.

The following Implementation Plan called for Health Education England to commission a film for health and social care providers that focuses on the specific needs of the African Caribbean community within the care process.

Finding Patience has been developed with input from experts across the system and follows Patience and her family as they recognise and come to terms with her dementia and ultimately seek help.

Understanding the cultural heritage of individuals living with dementia, enables high quality, safe, person centred care that focuses on the individual rather than the disease, and an understanding of challenges that may be rooted in a person’s cultural background.

Finding Patience opens the door for health and care professionals to start talking about cultural sensitivities that may result in a reluctance to come forward and talk about concerns. It aims to encourage health and care professionals to break down barriers in order to reach people who may otherwise go undiagnosed or struggle in isolation to provide care within family units. It is also a resource for the African Caribbean community to help raise awareness and reduce some of the stigma surrounding dementia and encourage those who may have concerns about either themselves or a family member to seek early support.

The film aligns to tier 1 (awareness level) dementia training, which aims to; familiarise people with recognising and understanding dementia; support people interacting with those with dementia; and provide people with the knowledge to be able to signpost patients and carers to appropriate support.

By 2051 over 2 million people in the UK will have dementia and almost a third will live in care homes. Person-centred care allows people to live well with dementia and is made possible by the health and care professionals who support them.

The Prime Ministers Challenge on Dementia 2020 states that “while many hospitals and care homes offer excellent support, some are not doing enough to provide high quality, personalised care that helps individuals to live as fulfilling a life as possible.”

Developed with experts from across the system, Finding Patience – The Later Years is a film that explores what makes good person-centred dementia care in care homes. The film follows the experiences of Patience and her family as she moves to a care home. It explores the challenges faced by care home staff and demonstrates what good quality patient-centred care looks like. 

Finding Patience – The Later Years raises awareness of how dementia can affect people differently. It encourages health and care professionals to reflect on the care they provide and calls for the delivery of care to focus on the individual, not the disease.

Thought-provoking films, aimed at healthcare professionals, emergency services, carers and health and social care staff,  to raise awareness of the issues faced by a person with dementia who may wander from their care setting including their own home.

The films have an associated workbook and teaching slides which are available to download from the associated documents below.

All the materials provide reflective learning on wandering (also recognised as walking) as behaviour that can become a risk for those with dementia both pre and post formal diagnosis. We become more aware about how it feels to be a person with dementia, and how vital it is to get professionals and relatives on board to help the person with dementia cope.

It raises reflective learning to improve caring, compassion and good communication should the person become a Missing Person and the appropriate actions of emergency services, health professionals and families.

Fred's story part 1

Fred's story part 2

The Appointment is a thought-provoking film aimed at dental professionals but also suitable for health and social care staff and carers. It raises awareness of the issues faced by a person with dementia when attending a dental appointment. 

In the film Barbara is having a routine check up with her dentist, six months elapse and we see Barbara starting to face challenges around attending a new appointment. 

We become more aware about how it feels to be a person with dementia, see the relationship with the dental practice staff and how vital it is to get carers and relatives on board as they can help the person with dementia cope with visiting the dental practice. 

It raises reflective learning to improve caring, compassion and good communication.

The resource pack helps guide discussion, guiding viewers to reflect on the film and its learning points. 

Tier one and two training tools are available to all NHS staff via the e-Learning for Healthcare e-Dementia course, this can also be accessed through the NHS Electronic Staff Record system.

The Social Care Institute for Excellence also offer an Open Dementia programme which is free also to access.