Training programme to reduce antipsychotic prescriptions in care homes

ContactAlzheimer’s Society FITS programme

An Alzheimer’s Society training programme, supported by funding from the Department of Health and the HC-One care home group, is being rolled out to 150 care homes across the UK.

Staff in care homes across the country will receive training from the University of Worcester’s Association for Dementia Studies. The training programme will increase understanding and awareness of dementia and provide tools, ideas and resources to enable staff to provide good quality person-centred care. The trained dementia champions will then be responsible for passing this training on to other staff working within the homes. It is expected that the first homes will start implementing the training in October 2012.

An initial trial of the Focussed Intervention Training and Support (FITS) programme found it reduced the use of antipsychotics in care homes by 50%.

Paul Burstow, Care Services Minister, said:

“Far too many people with dementia are robbed of part of their lives because they are needlessly given antipsychotics. In order to reduce this we need to make sure staff working with people with dementia understand the condition so they are able to treat the person, not just address the symptoms. That’s why we’ve put £100,000 towards this vital project.

The Prime Minister’s Dementia Challenge has set out the coalition’s plans to make the UK a world leader in dementia care. Projects such as FITS will be vital to achieving that.”

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