Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Dearth of training in dementia diagnosis

  • 1 Comment

Nurses must receive more education and training in identifying dementia, if care is to improve in line with the increasing prevalence of the condition, according to a group of MPs.

People with dementia are currently facing “shocking variations” in the time it takes for them to receive a diagnosis, a report from the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Dementia said last week.

The report – “Unlocking Diagnosis: The key to improving the lives of people with dementia” – draws together 1,100 pieces of evidence submitted to the group’s inquiry into dementia diagnosis.

In particular, it called for more investment in “memory services”, which offer a comprehensive assessment to determine whether someone has dementia. However, it also highlighted gaps in the knowledge of many health professionals on dementia diagnosis, especially in primary care.

The MPs recommended that all health professionals “working in a general capacity with people at risk of dementia should have pre- and post-registration training in identifying and understanding dementia”.

It stated: “The group received evidence that all ‘generalist’ health professionals, such as GPs, geriatricians, wider primary care teams, ward nurses and care assistants, who are involved in the general care of people with dementia, needed more specific training on dementia and dementia diagnosis.”

One nurse who submitted evidence to the inquiry was quoted as saying: “We didn’t have training as part of the student nurse curriculum. [It] should be mandatory for all nurses.”

The charity Dementia UK, which operates the Admiral Nurse service, said basing more specialist nurses with primary care teams would make a “huge difference to diagnosis rates” and give practice staff “specialist expertise on hand to refer to”.

  • 1 Comment

Readers' comments (1)

  • Charlotte Peters Rock

    It is not just a problem of 'identifying' people who are likely to have dementia, but being very aware of what else might be causing confusions - such as urinary tract infections etc

    It is also a matter of dealing adequately and with sensitivity with those people.

    On hospital wards, special interventions need to be made to ensure that this hard-floored, confusing space, is made user friendly to anyone who is confused - and to all people with varying degrees of differing dementias.

    If that is not factored into all training, an awful lot of smartarsery will go on, to the benefit of no-one.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.

Related Jobs