11 May 2014

Nurchat debates dementia training - is it enough?

In the UK alone, the annual cost of Dementia is £17 billion which is greater than the cost of stroke, heart disease and cancer combined. The Government has sent a mandate to Health Education England to ensure NHS staff who look after Dementia sufferers receive specialist foundation training. Given the scale of the problem, does this go far enough? Should dementia training be rolled out to banks, transport companies, the general public? Will it turn into just another tick box exercise with no lasting impact? What do you think should be done? Dementia training – A question of delivery is the focus for this week’s Nurchat. Join in the debate using #Nurchat on Tuesday 13th May, 8pm. Nurchat is a fortnightly twitter based discussion group, which is open to all, focussing on current UK healthcare issues.

Experts claim many healthcare workers are inadequately trained to deal with dementia care. This lack of knowledge has been attributed as a root cause for major failings including patients being left without basic human care needs such as food and drink. The Chief Executive of the Alzheimers Society, Jeremy Hughes, has said “People with dementia occupy up to a quarter of hospital beds and many may not be able to communicate that they are pain, in need of help, hungry, thirsty or simply uncomfortable,” he continues “It is vital that all staff from porters to nurses and doctors are aware of dementia.”

Last year, HEE launched a new national dementia training programme for NHS and social care workers, which has been heavily criticised for its focus on e-learning and its lack of practical training. The recent mandate to introduce the Tier 1 foundation level learning programme states it is designed to “enable staff to spot the early symptoms of dementia, know how to interact with those with dementia and signpost staff to the most appropriate care”. But is this training worth the paper it is written on? Will it fall short by not delivering practical training? Would you feel confident dealing with a challenging situation having undertaken an e-learning course? Without additional staff being employed will it make any difference to patients? Do you believe this training will have a positive impact on those with dementia and their families?

To take part in a #NurChat discussion, you’ll need to have a twitter account. Using the tweet box on http://nurchat.co.uk/join-nurchat-live/ you will be able to see the conversation as it happens. This box will automatically add the NurChat hashtag for you when you join in. If you need any assistance, tweet @NurChat for help.

About Nurchat: NurChat is an online community for nurses, healthcare professionals, patients and anyone with an interest or opinion on healthcare to come together, share knowledge and learn from each other. NurChat fuels inspiring debate on contemporary issues with the aim of creating a positive and significant impact on care delivery in this country. NurChat is facilitated by Newcross Healthcare Solutions, but belongs to the wider healthcare community.