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P-66 A proactive approach to develop knowledge and understanding of dementia? A hospice’s experience
  1. Caroline Vince,
  2. Karen Chumbley,
  3. Imelda Hodgkinson,
  4. Christine Aylott and
  5. Jacquie Pamphilon
  1. St Helena, Colchester, UK


Background The purpose of St Helena is to help local people with incurable illness to live well and die with dignity and choice. One of the strategic priorities is to reach out based on need, regardless of diagnosis or circumstance. One of our ambitions was to invest in education in conditions that traditionally have received less palliative care support, such as dementia.

Aim St Helena acknowledge the need to provide educational opportunities for staff and volunteers to increase their knowledge and understanding of dementia.

Method St Helena is committed to providing a number of educational opportunities, including:

  • Joining the Essex Dementia Action Alliance;

  • Initiating The Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Friends information session for all staff;

  • Organising a ‘Caring for those dying with dementia at the end of life’ study event;

  • Promoting dementia awareness tier 1 training offered via Health Education England’s e–Learning for Healthcare programme;

  • Providing in–house dementia awareness tier 2 training;

  • Encouraging staff to complete a Certificate in Principles of Dementia Care delivered via The Skills Network.

Results The feedback from the varying educational opportunities has been overwhelmingly positive. St Helena currently has 98 Dementia Friends, almost one third of its workforce. 35 staff have attended dementia awareness, tier 2 training, almost 25% of all clinical staff, with an ambition to increase this to 50% by 2020. 41 people registered for the ‘Caring for those dying with dementia at the end of life’ study event.

Conclusions St Helena recognise the scale of this global issue and is continuing to proactively prepare staff to ensure that we can support those affected by dementia who access St Helena’s services.

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