Medacs Healthcare

JAN 08/2013

Dementia training for all NHS and social care staff

If you work within the NHS, regardless of whether you're a porter or have worked in locum doctor jobs for several years, you'll soon benefit from access to new training to ensure you know how to provide support for people with dementia.

Once the domain of specialist dementia nurses and medics, the government has now recognised the need for all of those who come into contact with patients to have a good understanding of the condition.

Dementia care should improve over the course of 2013-14 and beyond, thanks to a new £50 million incentive scheme. Every NHS organisation will soon have its own dementia nursing expert, while NHS wards will all benefit from having a designated 'dementia champion'.

And staff will soon be able to improve their understanding of the condition by accessing online learning packages as part of their continuing professional development (CPD) training.

The measures are aimed at driving up the quality of care experienced by people with dementia and reflect the fact that one in four NHS beds is occupied by a person with dementia. This means that everyone who works within the NHS service is bound to encounter people with the condition and their loved ones and carers.

Jeremy Hughes, chief executive of the Alzheimer's Society, welcomes the new measures as he believes many of the 800,0000 people who are currently living with dementia in the UK do not receive the care they deserve at present. He claims: "Having a dementia champion on each ward and giving access to online training to all staff could be a way of driving up standards."

The announcement has also been welcomed by Dean Royles, director of the NHS Employers organisation. He says that employers are "determined" to deliver high quality and compassionate care to patients, adding: "This increased investment in training and development is welcomed and will help staff manage patients with dementia, surely one of the biggest challenges we face in the health service today."

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