The drivers for this project included National guidance and policy, such as the Prime Minister’s Challenge (Department of Health (DH) 2012) and "Living Well with Dementia (DH, 2009) and the National end of life care strategy (DH, 2008), Regional influences were Dementia Local Implementation Groups (DLIG) and "Dementia-friendly communities". The development of the course was funded through the Regional Innovation Fund (RIF). The hospice is revising the organisational strategy, with a view to reaching more people who are dying and their families, through enhanced joint working.
The aim was to bring professionals together, sharing their specialist expertise to develop and deliver a five-day course to a wide variety of health and social care providers.
Initial work centred on accessing appropriate health and social care providers to help to design and deliver the course.. The group met regularly (over a period of six months), initially to establish the framework of the course and, subsequently, to design and agree the course content, intending to use facilitators from a range of disciplines.
A pilot five-day course was delivered in the Spring of 2013, attended by a diverse group of participants, including staff from mental health, learning disability, hospices, care homes, and community settings as well as a care commissioner. The course was facilitated by specialists from mental health, social care training, Alzheimer’s society, specialist palliative care, care home setting, palliative medicine and hospice education, as well as a person with dementia. An assortment of teaching and learning techniques were used to encourage shared learning. Electronic evaluation has provided evidence of participants’ learning.
This course has the potential to enable care providers to learn more about end of life care for people with dementia, reaching more people in all settings, in line with National, regional and organisational strategy.
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