A new online training resource has been launched today to ensure that all staff in the NHS and in social care can be dementia-aware.
The resource is part of government plans to roll out the Prime Minister’s dementia package, which aims to see 100,000 nurses and health care assistants receive dementia training by e-learning by 2015.
The programme of work, released after a year of the Dementia Challenge, is designed to make a real difference to the lives of people with dementia and their families and carers.
The dementia e-learning sessions have been designed to familiarise health and social care staff with recognising and understanding dementia and to be able to signpost appropriate support.
Professor Chris Welsh, director of education and quality at Health Education England (HEE) said: “The nature of dementia means that managing the condition can pose unique and sometimes difficult issues for staff, both in the hospital and in the community.
“We believe that care for patients with dementia needs to start in education to create a dementia-aware workforce.”
Professor Welsh explained that the e-learning tool will be the first step in a three stage programme led by HEE in improving the care for those with dementia.
Written by experts in both psychiatry and medicine for the elderly, the programme supports both the implementation of the National Dementia Strategy and David Cameron’s challenge.
Staff will be able to access three 30 minute sessions of learning which will support staff with difficult statements such as ‘I am worried about Dad’ that could be asked of anyone in contact with patients and families on a day to day basis.
It also covers the importance of public health messages and addressing social stigma as essential in making a difference in caring for people with dementia.
In addition, a further ten 30 minute sessions are available which support more advanced practice in assessing and managing dementia, whilst equipping staff with the skills to provide high quality dementia care.
“Over the coming months, we will be working with providers of education to ensure that dementia and other long term conditions play a far greater role in the knowledge and the skills we expect of those who graduate to become professionals in the NHS,” said Professor Welsh.
“This will become a mandatory part of the education we expect all staff to have before joining the NHS”.
The e-learning dementia resource can be accessed here.