Last updated: 07.09.13

Healthcare experts launch new dementia training programme

A number of medical experts and academics in Manchester have come together to produce a new healthcare training programme for hospital staff dealing with dementia patients.

Teams from Greater Manchester West Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Manchester have joined forces with other NHS Trusts in Bolton, Salford, and Central Manchester to launch the Getting to Know Me dementia initiative, which is designed to address the fact lots of nurses and hospital employees do not always feel confident when looking after people with the condition.

The training - which has been funded by Greater Manchester Health, Innovation and Education Cluster - has been completed by more than 450 NHS employees so far and evaluation of the scheme has revealed there has been a rise in confidence and knowledge following completion.

Kathryn Harney from Greater Manchester West Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust described working in partnership to bring research and people with personal experience of dementia into the development of the training as "really worthwhile".

She continued: "The Getting to Know Me focus of the training will help hospital staff treat patients with dementia as individuals and improve the hospital experience for them and their carers.”

At present, more than 800,000 people in the UK have dementia and this group can take up 25 per cent of hospital beds at any one time.

Pat Graham, senior nurse for older people at Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, stated it is important for the care of people with dementia that all hospital staff understand them and their needs.

"The programme can be delivered in a very flexible way which means it can be accessed easily. Our staff have benefited greatly from the training and therefore so have our patients," she added.

This comes after an independent report published by journalist Camilla Cavendish called for healthcare standards to improve, claiming that some workers should receive at least two weeks' formal training before taking up basic duties.