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All NHS workers to receive specialist training in dementia, says PM  


All NHS staff will now be required to undergo training in dementia so they have the “know-how and understanding” to provide the best possible care, the government has announced.

The training, described as being for everyone “from hospitals porters to surgeons”, forms part of a package of measures targeted at dementia revealed by the prime minister on Saturday.

The expectation is that all NHS staff will have received training on dementia “appropriate to their role”, the government stated.

This includes every newly-appointed healthcare assistant and social care support worker having undergone the training as part of the national roll-out of the Care Certificate, with the Care Quality Commission asking for evidence of compliance as part of its inspection regime.

David Cameron set out what he described as a new, long-term strategy focused on boosting research, improving care and raising public awareness about the condition.

“We can invest in research and drug-development, as well as public understanding, so we defeat this terrible condition and offer more hope and dignity for those who suffer”

David Cameron

Recapping on current progress, he said over 437,920 NHS staff had already received dementia training  – Tier 1 (foundation level) – and more than 100,000 social care workers had received dementia awareness training – more than any other country worldwide.

He added that more than one million people – including Mr Cameron and his cabinet – had now signed up to be “dementia friends”, under the awareness scheme run by the Alzheimer’s Society.

As well as the renewed focus on training, the Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia 2020 included a £300m investment in medical research and an international dementia institute to be established in England within five years.

A separate multi-million pound fund will be launched “within weeks” to help establish a large-scale, international investment scheme to discover new drugs and treatment that “could slow down the onset of dementia or even deliver a cure” by 2025.

The government also said it wanted there to be three million more “dementia friends”, faster assessments and better care for all, and a greater focus on support given to people following their diagnosis, such as better information about services available locally, advice and help for carers.

Nationally, initial dementia assessments will take place in an average of six weeks, the government said.

“Too many people are waiting up to six months for a full assessment, causing worry and uncertainty for people and their families. This will no longer be tolerated,” it added.

The five-year strategy updates the three-year dementia challenge announced by Mr Camceron in March 2012, which itself followed the Department of Health’s five-year strategy on dementia from 2009.

Announcing the new plan, Mr Cameron, said: “Because of the growing strength of our economy, we can invest in research and drug-development, as well as public understanding, so we defeat this terrible condition and offer more hope and dignity for those who suffer.”

Duncan Selbie, chief executive of Public Health England, said the “sheer scale of the challenge posed by dementia means we all need to work together to address it”.



Readers' comments (19)

  • michael stone

    I can see the logic to this - by the time the training has been completed, this particular Goverment would probably have nurses working into their 80s, so being able to figure out who was demented would be useful !

    Tongue-in-cheek !

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  • don't all student nurses undergo this training already and with further post-grad. training for all those working in this field? It would be very surprising if this does not already happen.

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  • MStone

    trolls always post with tongue in cheek. time you stopped being so insulting and valued what nurses actually do! if you don't understand their multifaceted roles go to a hospital or the RCN or NMC and ask for some job descriptions instead of persistently posting rubbish.

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  • The issue isn't so much that nurses need extra/more training, it is that there isn't adequate staff available to look after the demented patient in a busy surgical/medical ward where they strip naked half a dozen times a day in the corridor or wander into other patient areas looking for the toilet or scream blue murder when you try and feed them at rigid times, or when other patients complain about the noise/interruption/delay in their care because there hasn't been a nurse allocated to that demented patient because of funds.

    Nurses already know how to look after demented patients. Give us the resources to do it effectively.

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  • In residential and nursing homes I have observed many nurses who do not attempt to practise dementia care although bad governance from the NHS seems to be the root cause. The boards lack diversity and anyone with ground level expertise to advise or educate them. They do not seem to appreciate that their salaries include payment for them to make evidence based research decisions rather than rush decisions based on their own personalities.

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  • michael stone

    Anonymous | 23-Feb-2015 5:59 pm

    I do not 'troll' !

    And any 'insult' in the above post, was to this Tory goverment - I'm not alone in having suspicions about how committed to the NHS the Conservatives are.

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  • michael stone | 24-Feb-2015 11:47 am

    based on sand and not on concrete fact!
    if you have a political axe to grind instead of sticking to the actual issues take it elsewhere! preferably to a comic of your own level!

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  • michael stone | 24-Feb-2015 11:47 am

    the evidence is here on practically every page!

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  • michael stone

    Anonymous | 24-Feb-2015 12:06 pm

    Anonymous | 24-Feb-2015 1:43 pm

    Keep an eye on your blood pressure.

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  • DEMENTED PATIENTS - that is exactly why nurses need training about people who have memory /cognitive problems associated with being in a strange and often hostile place. I agree that greater resources are needed, but nurses attitudes towards and respect for PEOPLE LIVING WITH DEMENTIA need to change. They need to remember the PERSON behind the memory loss or unusual behaviour and learn how to avoid some of the real problems that are faced by the persons concerned and the staff who are trying to care for them in an unsuitable environment. Sadly I'm not sure Cameron's idea of training will make much difference - changing ageist attitudes isn't easy but it might tick a few boxes.

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