What is being done?
In order to ensure that people who have or may have a dementia are appropriately supported in their existing care home, the care homes are participating in a workforce development project, led by NHS Plymouth and Plymouth City Council.
This project responds to local need through delivering training to care home staff to enable them to carry out their role more effectively. A strategic approach across all care homes in the city has been taken to ensure that all people with dementia or who may have dementia benefit. It is based on the recognition that people with dementia need workers with specific knowledge and competencies to support them to live well with their condition.
New role and function
Working with local care homes to develop their competencies in dementia awareness has been a new activity for NHS Plymouth and Plymouth City Council. Participating in the training is a key prerequisite for any home wishing to do business with the City Council. In this way, care homes are all brought in to sharing an agreed standard of workforce development and competency locally.
Once care homes have received the training a member of staff is designated as their Dementia Link Worker, who then offers support and training to the rest of their team in the care of people with dementia.
What has been achieved?
- Development and implementation of a comprehensive workforce strategy to deliver a coherent approach to developing the care home workforce in dementia awareness.
- Strong partnership working with local private sector care home providers, and private sector training organisations.
- Dementia training is set up to be available to care home staff over the coming 12 months and beyond, to ensure that all those who wish to participate are included.
- Work with local University to develop the dementia training “offer” to pre-registration nursing and social work students, including academic credits for attending dementia strategy launch events.
- Working with local Further Education College to utilise the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) for dementia.
- Developing dementia training provider market, to ensure that quality and content of privately available training is coherent with values, principles and aims of the in-house training, as well as being delivered by practitioners with current or recent experience in the field.
What has been achieved?
Since the approach was adopted, many care homes have been through the training and are now delivering better care for people with dementia. In the future Plymouth are looking at Dementia Care Mapping, evaluating the training delivery, refreshing the workforce strategy, developing training with the general hospital and developing carer and people with dementia’s involvement in delivering and evaluating training.
Nicholas White, Training and Development Manager, Mental Health Partnership, 01752 434 329, Nicholas.White@plymouth.nhs.uk