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Dementia training

The Department of Health’s Mandate to Health Education England (HEE) published in April 2013 set out the work programme for HEE to develop in partnership with the relevant stakeholders, a national roll-out plan for foundation level dementia training for all NHS staff.


The agreed definition of foundation level dementia training is familiarising staff with recognising and understanding dementia, interacting with those with dementia, and training them to be able to signpost patients and carers to appropriate support. By doing this:

  • Staff will have greater awareness and confidence to support patients affected by dementia
  • There will be better diagnosis, treatment and care of those with dementia
  • NHS staff will be able to identify the early symptoms of dementia
  • NHS staff will be more aware of the needs of patients affected by dementia and their families and carers, to enable them to provide safe, dignified and compassionate care
  • GPs will be able to identify and work with patients affected by dementia
  • The training will signpost staff to the most appropriate care
  • The training will raise awareness of the increased likelihood of mental health problems presenting in those with Long Term Conditions.

Tier 2 intermediary dementia training and Tier 3 advanced dementia training will be agreed and rolled out this year (2014).

Tier 1 dementia training

A dementia training scoping survey carried out during September and October 2013 has identified a total of 109,000 people trained as at 14 October 2013. The survey showed that there is the need to scope the primary care workforce in more detail and to develop a programme that is appropriate for all.

A workshop for LETB dementia leads took place on 1 November. They reviewed and agreed the components and learning outcomes of the Tier 1 dementia training:

  • Awareness – understanding symptoms, recognising signs, challenging behaviour;
  • Knowledge of the condition – types of dementia, differences between dementia, delirium, depression etc
  • Communications, listening skills and supporting people with dementia;
  • Person centred care – sign posting to advice and guidance, medication, ethics, impact on families.

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