At scale adoption of skills in dementia care across Southampton, Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Portsmouth

ContactDr Edward Wernick, GP, Dementia Lead, NHS North East Hampshire and Farnham CCG
Telephone08444 125 888
Address4 Downing Street, Farnham, Surrey, GU9 7PA

The project is using an evidence based methodology to improve the knowledge, attitude and competencies of front line health staff in the care of people with dementia.

The project which aims to reach 20,000 front line staff working within the NHS and independent healthcare organisations across Southampton, Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Portsmouth (SHIP) will bring together commissioners/Clinical Commissioning Groups, providers, Skills for Health, Wessex Academic Health Science Network and the emerging Local Education and Training Board with the common aim of equipping and building confidence in the key workforce who care for people with dementia in a variety of health settings.

The project builds on innovations developed and adopted in the Oxfordshire health community which has been working with Skills for Health by using national competency frameworks to address practice in the care of people with dementia. Also, work developed by the University of Worcester to develop Dementia Leadership Champions. By drawing on the learning from these areas we will be able to rapidly introduce our project, knowing that the approach has been tested elsewhere and thus the benefits to people living with dementia and their carers can be achieved more quickly.

The project addresses the priority identified in the Dementia Challenge for driving improvements in health and care. In particular, the knowledge that will be built in front line staff should lead to earlier identification of symptoms and diagnosis. The training programme for front line staff will build on direct feedback from the Andover MIND Dementia Group on the issues people living with dementia and their carers face when admitted to hospital or other care settings. The project will improve care in hospitals and maximize the benefits for use of financial rewards to hospitals through CQUIN. The innovative approach to developing Dementia Leadership Champions will facilitate improvement in standards in care homes through the partnership with the NHS.

There are several innovations being adopted with this project:

  • The project will use a recognised method for rapid, at scale change drawing on the NHS Change model adopted by the NHS Commissioning Board (NHS England from 01 April 2013). This is felt to be particularly relevant given the wide scale engagement and rigorous delivery required to reach a large number of staff for whom we aim to equip with skills in dementia care.
  • The project will match large NHS providers with small independent sector providers using leadership coaching provided by Directors of Nursing and their teams to develop the confidence and competency of senior nurses within care homes to champion dementia care
  • The project will form part of a national Learning Bank within Skills for Health to provide advice and support to other areas seeking to develop similar large scale projects relating to skills in dementia care

The timescale for delivery of the project falls into three phases:

  • Phase 1 Nov-Dec 2012 Recruitment of Project Manager and Programme management arrangements
  • Phase 2 Jan-Feb 2013 Baseline assessment of current skills within workforce across all providers
  • Phase 3 March 2013 Commence delivery of competency based programme in dementia skills

Anticipated outcomes

The At Scale Adoption of Skills in Dementia Care supports delivery of several outcomes within the NHS Outcomes Framework.

  • Domain 2
    • Enhancing the quality of life for carers
    • Reducing time spent in hospital for people living with a long term condition
  • Domain 3
    • Helping older people recover their independence after illness or injury
  • Domain 4
    • Improving responsiveness to personal needs
    • Improving the experiences of healthcare for people with dementia
  • Domain 5
    • Reducing the incidence of avoidable harm