Dementia education and training in Devon

South Devon Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has a comprehensive dementia training and education programme. It includes dementia awareness sessions for all levels of staff including a pocket guide on how to communicate with people with a dementia in 12 steps. The programme also includes workshops that cover all aspects of care from ‘What is dementia?’ to ‘End of life care’.

In addition, a forum for link nurses meets quarterly and members are encouraged to make small changes of practice relevant to their own area. The Trust are in the process of facilitating a knowledge unit aligned with the Skills for Care Qualification and Credits Framework. The Trust also plans to evaluate its 20 credit degree module run with Plymouth University.

Download a presentation on the dementia training and education programme (MS PowerPoint 1.7MB)

Further information: Maggi Douglas-Dunbar, South Devon Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust,, 01803 655859

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2 Responses to Dementia education and training in Devon

  1. linda williams says:

    Dear maggi i am a palliative community nurse at leatside surgery totnes i want to become trained in dementia care of the elderly can you please help me firstly buy directing me at whot courses are available and how i can apply . It is something i am very passionate about and dearly want to enhance my understanding further in this field . yours sincerly linda williams

    • Isabela says:

      Following a recent meietng with Professor Field I would like to formally give my views on the idea of abolishing General Practice boundaries. I feel very strongly that this would be a mistake. I understand there are concerns regarding GP access, that public feedback is for ever more flexible access as well as issues around reaching “hard to reach” groups. Nevertheless my belief is that one of the great strengths of GP care is continuity of care within a practice. My own experience is that where patients see doctors who are not familiar with their care history more investigations are ordered and more inappropriate referrals made. This depth of knowledge of the patient and their surrounding social situation does not (and probably cannot) rest within the computerised patient record. The more complex the issues, the more continuity is essential. We all accept there are occasions when clinical need means seeing an unfamiliar GP is unavoidable but this should be the exception not the rule. Even in a large practice it is usual for patients to be known by at least 2 GPs and problems can be discussed easily within the practice team.This is not to say that General Practice is perfect but that does not mean we must implement ideas which are likely to make patient care worse rather than better.The NHS is facing severe cost limitations and reorganisations are being made. CCGs are being tasked to take on the mantle of front line leadership. At such a time it seems perverse to push through a populist policy that the majority of grass roots GPs oppose.In addition CCGs are being directed to ensure they are co-terminus with Local Authorities where possible and that practices should be within a CCG boundary. Again it appears perverse to push for a system where patients could end up being in different CCG footprints with different LAs. The main focus in care has moved to health outcomes which I feel is entirely appropriate. I don’t believe better health related outcomes might reasonably be expected to flow from such a policy. Evidence shows that care is best delivered by committed teams who are able to forge strong working relationships. Patients may believe that they will get more convenient care popping to a centre opposite their workplace however I don’t believe that it is likely that there will be better care by attending multiple sites. The evidence is to the contrary.

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