Creating a sustainable dementia care workforce in Oxfordshire

The aim of this project is to accelerate the pace of improvement in the pathway of care for people with dementia and their carers by providing a programme of training and education for health and social care staff.

Current challenges include:

  • Many health and social care workers lack some of the knowledge and skills they need to support people affected by dementia. In 2011 a local authority survey of Oxfordshire care homes showed that only 50{79f878acaa41f375dcd804cc8c058b5459a5482f20a3b9f87269b26c8734749b} of the homes had given any staff any training in dementia.
  • There is no requirement for dementia-specific training
  • Dementia awareness among ward staff in acute and community hospitals is variable.
  • Family members and other unpaid carers lack skills in care and stress management. As a result carer breakdown, crisis admission, delayed transfers and ‘forced’ care home placements all have high rates in Oxfordshire

 Project Objectives

  • Better awareness amongst paid staff/professionals.
  • Reduced stigma
  • Increased identification and early diagnosis of people with dementia facilitating appropriate support at the right times and in the right places.
  • Develop a competent and sustainable workforce across sectors so people with dementia can have person-centred and dignified care wherever they are being cared for.
  • Effective treatment that enables people with dementia to remain independent and in the community for as long as possible.
  • For carers to feel supported in providing care for as long as they choose.

The vision is a county where people live well with dementia because, irrespective of care setting, staff have the knowledge and skills to help them lead as fulfilling a life as possible.

This will lead to:

  • People with dementia live independently for as long as possible.
  • Carers are equipped to fulfill their caring role and manage their stress.
  • Reduction in crisis admission, delayed transfer of care and care home placements.
  • Improved quality of care in care homes.
  • Less financial strain on families and the health and social care system.

 Anticipated outcomes

  • A competent workforce across statutory, independent and voluntary sectors delivering sensitive, appropriate and personalized care to people living with dementia.
  • Improved quality of care measured through care standards.
  • Improved patient and carer satisfaction.
  • Carers of people with dementia report feeling equipped to care and are adequately supported.
  • Reduced care home admissions and lengths of stay
  • Reduced admissions to secondary  care services.
  • Reduction in anti-psychotic prescribing.

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