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11 Mar 2020

Dementia Social service workforce Your learning

Staff graduate from specialist dementia training programmes

Another 98 Dementia Champions and 45 Dementia Specialist Improvement Leads (DSIL) will graduate today from specialist dementia training programmes aimed at improving the care and support for people living with dementia in Scottish hospitals, care homes and community settings.

Thirty eight organisations are represented among the graduates, including 14 health boards and 21 social service organisations.

Scotland’s third Dementia Strategy focuses on driving better care and treatment for people living with dementia. As part of its wider workforce development programme, NES has supported improvements in dementia care in hospitals, specialist mental health settings and a range of social care settings. This has included developing learning resources to support implementation of the Promoting Excellence Framework, delivering training programmes and working with partners to support improvements.

The conference will showcase and celebrate innovative improvement work led by dementia champions, DSILs, Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Nurse Consultants and previous graduates to enhance the care of people living with dementia and their families and carers.

Clare Haughey, MSP and Minister for Mental Health, Scottish Government said: 'Congratulations to all the dementia champions and improvement leads who graduated today. All participants have shown great skill and commitment - and play a vital role in continuing to improve the quality of care for people with dementia across acute and specialist care settings.

'The Scottish Government’s continued national commitment to dementia workforce development is a key part of our national dementia policy – and, as set out in Programme for Government, we are committed to consulting on and developing a fourth National Dementia Strategy in 2020.'

Sandra Campbell, Convener, Scottish Social Services Council added: 'It’s great to see everyone here today celebrating their hard work and achievements. The commitment of those working in social services and health care makes a real difference the lives of people living with dementia and their families.'

David Garbutt, Chair, NHS Education for Scotland added: 'I commend the commitment and hard work of the graduates to improve the care and support for people living with dementia. It’s a fantastic achievement. We’re proud to celebrate with them today.'

Henry Simmons, Chief Executive, Alzheimer Scotland said: 'Alzheimer Scotland is extremely privileged and proud to have been associated with the Dementia Champions programme since its earliest days. This project is an excellent example of our partnership working with NHS Education for Scotland, the Scottish Social Services Council, the University of the West of Scotland (UWS) and the Scottish Government, which has continued to have an important and profound impact on standards of healthcare for people with dementia in acute hospitals and many other healthcare settings.

'Today we congratulate and welcome the tenth cohort of Dementia Champions graduates who contribute significantly to ensuring people with dementia are well supported across Scotland. Additionally, it is wonderful to see a third cohort of Dementia Specialist Improvement Leads graduating. This programme which has focused on developing leadership and improvement in one of the most specialised area of practice within our health and social care system has already proven to be invaluable and transformational. The work of those graduating today is extremely inspiring and their dedication to improving the care and support for people with dementia is exemplary.'

In the last 10 years 1,048 people working in acute general and community hospitals and health and social services have completed the Dementia Champions programme. It has prepared them to:

  • lead front line improvements in dementia care
  • sustain change in their area
  • cascade information and education about dementia to other staff.

The DSIL programme has trained 121 participants since 2014. It supports the implementation of the Promoting Excellence education framework and the Standards of Care for Dementia in Scotland. It includes several ‘training for trainers’ programmes, covering:

  • change management and quality improvement
  • training and facilitation skills
  • stress and distress in dementia
  • meeting the complex physical health care needs of people with dementia
  • palliative and end of life care in dementia
  • pharmacological care in dementia.

The national graduation and conference for those graduating from dementia programmes was held at Murrayfield in Edinburgh.

Contact information

Lorraine Wakefield
Communications Manager
Scottish Social Services Council
lorraine.wakefield@sssc.uk.com