Training for domiciliary care providers in Berkshire

ContactJulie Eden, Commissioning Officer, Reading Council
Telephone0118 937 3204
AddressLevel 6, Civic Centre, Reading, RG7 1AE

This project seeks to improve the quality and consistency of domiciliary care delivered to people affected by dementia.  By ensuring that domiciliary staff are aware and adequately trained in dementia this will achieve better outcomes for people affected by dementia. The focus will be on domiciliary care staff delivering care using a relationship and person centered approach.

Two thirds of all people with dementia live in their own homes in the community and good quality domiciliary care is key in enabling them to carry on living at home.  This is emphasised in Objective 6 of ‘Living well with dementia: A National Dementia Strategy’.

From a recent survey in one of the West of Berkshire Unitaries it was identified that many agencies either had offered no training to their staff on dementia or stated that training was done “on the job”. A small number had set up training with a recognised dementia trainer. The majority were unaware of the range of training opportunities locally available from Health or the Local Authorities.

All agencies stated that they would welcome advice and input – a number saying that they found it difficult to identify good training programmes or trainers.

The project worker will link with domiciliary care agencies in the three local authorities to establish current training provision, identify training needs through a training needs analysis and to identify how these might be met.  In addition they would arrange for dementia awareness workshops to be delivered to a number of agency staff (i.e. Managers and Senior Carers) who would then act as “champions” to raise awareness of dementia and of the benefit of training to other staff. Agencies would be encouraged to become part of the Dementia Alliance, thereby also making links with the ‘Dementia Friendly Communities proposal’.  Patient outcomes in terms of user experience will also be evaluated. Dementia champions within the domiciliary care agencies will help promote an agency led dementia training blueprint for moving forward and ultimately a blueprint of excellence that can be shared throughout the South of England.

The training needs analysis would be aggregated and made known to the CCGs and Local Authorities as part of their responsibility for market development. Currently both Health and Social care offer low cost training around dementia but there is a variable take up within domiciliary care agencies. This aggregated analysis would both enable health and social care to tailor these courses based on local need and to more target those agencies who wish to become market leaders.

This approach is being adapted from one conducted by the Strategic Health Authority covering end of life care which focussed on residential and nursing home staff in Berkshire. End of life educators were appointed who then approached the homes in their area. The post holder worked with the homes in identifying their training needs around end of life and then delivered this training. This focussed on a manager and a senior member of staff in the home environment and was based the “six step” course approach, adapted to the home in question. The success of this approach was in contacting and talking directly with the homes and then offering training appropriate to their needs, albeit with an existing tool.  Subsequent evaluation of these post showed that it enabled the staff concerned to be far more confident in both dealing with end of life issues in the home and in encouraging other staff not just to be positive in dealing with these issues but also in accessing further training.


The timescale of the project would run from the time funding was made available until end March 2014. During the 12 month period:

  • Work with  target number of 30 domiciliary care agencies in Wokingham, Reading and Newbury (West Berkshire) to identify the need for Dementia training for their staff facilitated by the Project Worker
  • For a minimum of 20 domiciliary care agencies to complete training needs analysis with the facilitation of the Project Worker.
  • For a minimum of 15 managers and senior care staff in domiciliary care agencies to attend a Dementia Awareness workshop to increase knowledge and the need for dementia specific training and care
  • The Agencies will produce a plan to meet the identified training needs for their staff now and in the next five years
  • The provision of Dementia training for domiciliary care staff will enable care to be person centered rather than task specific
  • People affected by dementia will be able to choose an agency who has trained staff to provide care.
  • Domiciliary care agencies will have the motivation to provide training for their staff in order to ensure the sustainability of their business with a growing client group.
  • To enable Health and Social Care  staff and private individuals to access better trained staff

Anticipated outcomes

  • Enables care to be person centered rather than task specific
  • Enables people with dementia to remain at home for longer
  • Ensure paid carers’ have a better experience of being supported by their employers and thereby relieve carer stress and burnout
  • Delays or prevents a move into residential care
  • Agencies will be better able to market their business as dementia knowledgeable.
  • People who fund their own care will be able to choose those agencies who have appropriately trained care staff
  • People with dementia will be respected including their rights, preferences, interests and culture
  • Health and Social Care agencies will have a better understanding of the training  profile and training needs of agencies in their area
  • Health and Social Care agencies are better placed to shape the domiciliary market

Progress update

Anticipated start date for the project October/November 2013