Creating a sustainable dementia care workforce in Oxfordshire

ContactFunmi Durodola, Service Development Manager, Oxfordshire CCG
Telephone01865 334603
AddressJubilee House, 5510 John Smith Drive, Oxford Business Park South, Cowley, Oxford, OX4 2LH

This project aims to accelerate the pace of improvement in the pathway of care for people with dementia and their carers living in Oxfordshire by providing a programme of dementia training and education for health and social care staff.

Current challenages include:

  • Many health and social care workers lack the knowledge and skills they need to  support people affected by dementia. A 2011 local authority survey of Oxfordshire care homes showed that only 50% had given staff any training in dementia.
  • No routine dementia-specific training requirement
  • Patchy awareness of dementia among ward staff in our acute and community hospitals.
  • The crucial unpaid workforce (family carers) lack skills in care and stress reduction.

The consequences of these are carer breakdown, crisis admission, delayed transfer (Oxon has the worst in the country), and ‘forced’ costly care home placement.


The project aims to deliver:

  • Better awareness in the communities in Oxfordshire and amongst paid staff/professionals.
  • Reduced stigma
  • Increase identification and early diagnosis of people with dementia thereby facilitating appropriate support at the right times and in the right places.
  • •Develop a competent and sustainable workforce across sectors so that people with dementia can have person-centred and dignified care wherever they are being cared for.
  • •Effective treatment that enables people with dementia to be able to remain independent or in the community for as long as possible.
  • • For carers to feel able to care and supported in doing so for as long as they choose.

Our vision is a county where people live well with dementia because irrespective of care setting ‘the staff who work with them have the knowledge and skills to help them lead as fulfilling a life as possible’. This will lead to:

  • •People with dementia live as independently and for as long as possible.
  • Carers are equipped to fulfill their caring role and manage stress.
  • Reduction in crisis admission, delayed transfer of care and care home placements.
  • Improved quality of care in care homes for those who require it.
  • Less financial strain on families and the health and social care system.

Learning from elsewhere

Gloucestershire’s innovative approach to dementia training and education for health and social care staff. The five elements of the project are based on accredited and unaccredited learning, dementia mapping, bundles of care and CBT training for carers.

  1. Basic accredited training, QCF (NICE guidance recommendations)
  2. Work based training: Skills for Care ‘learning-through-work’ approach
  3. Quality of life in care homes / Dementia care mapping (Kitwood)
  4. Bundles of care approach (Institute for Healthcare Improvement)
  5. CBT groups for Carers (NICE guidelines)

Anticipated outcomes

  • A competent workforce across sectors (statutory, independent and voluntary) better-able to deliver sensitive, appropriate and personalized care to people with dementia and their carers. Impact: Improved quality of care measured through care standards.
  • Improved patient satisfaction.
  • Carers of people with dementia feel equipped to care and are adequately supported. Impact: Preventative effect on entering a care home.
  • Reduced admissions to secondary care services by end Q4 – cost savings.
  • Reduction in anti-psychotic prescribing.