When our Trust first launched its Dementia Friends campaign across the organisation, it reached its target of recruiting at least 1,000 Dementia Friends by the end of 2016.
This success has continued with the advent of the National Tier 1,2 and 3 Dementia Training Standards Framework commissioned by the Department of Health. Since receiving their Tier 1 sessions, numbers have increased to almost 3,000 registered staff Dementia Friends and rising across the Trust.
This resource, which details the essential skills and knowledge necessary across the health and social care spectrum, is delivered to all NHS staff where appropriate and falls to three tiers:
- Tier 1 Awareness, which every staff member undertakes;
- Tier 2 Enhanced Basic Skills which are relevant to all clinical staff in settings where people with a dementia are likely to be receiving care and;
- Tier 3 Leadership.
This training supports the quality and consistency in dementia education for those organisations which deliver a complex dementia service, ensuring it is of high quality, accessible and timely with care being personalised and supportive for those people living with a dementia and their carers.
Many staff have turned their understanding into action with many taking the campaign to their colleagues, family, friends and wider communities. Over time, a number have gone on to train as Dementia Friend Champions, resulting in many hundreds more being given the Dementia Friends Information Sessions.
Dr Atta, Consultant Clinical Psychiatrist and Clinical Lead for Dementia Services for the Trust, said: “These overall numbers are a great marker and indicate the Trust’s commitment to improving the awareness of our staff regarding Dementia. Far too many people unfortunately have to deal with it, but with the right care and support people can and do live well with their Dementia.
“As a Trust we are committed to our collaboration with all our partners across Coventry and Warwickshire, including our NHS colleagues, Local Authorities, Commissioners and Voluntary Sector in developing a care pathway that helps identify and diagnose Dementia earlier. In addition this will create a greater support network and ensure our patients and their carers are provided safe, timely care in the most appropriate settings, as their condition and needs change.”
Dementia Friends is about learning more about dementia and the small ways everyone can help, turning that understanding into action. Dementia can make life difficult, so it’s important to know how to be helpful and respectful, to help make that person’s day that little bit easier.
Our Trust is dedicated in creating more awareness and Dementia Friends. Dementia Friends campaign is The Alzheimer’s Society initiative and the biggest ever social action movement to change perceptions of dementia and a target has been set to achieve four million Dementia Friends by 2020.
With over 850,000 people living with Dementia in the UK, we all have our part to play in making our communities more dementia friendly. The staff who become a Dementia Friend join over 2.5 million others across England and Wales who are helping reduce stigma and promote inclusion for those with the condition.
For further information on the Trust’s Dementia Services visit: www.covwarkpt.nhs.uk and search ‘Dementia’.