05 Nov 2013

Hospital staff able to provide better care thanks to OU dementia training

Healthcare assistants complete dementia training course

Healthcare assistants complete dementia training course

Dementia care at Milton Keynes Hospital is set to benefit as healthcare assistants complete their dementia training with The Open University.

The course, Improving Dementia Care is designed to develop the knowledge, skills and confidence of healthcare workers to provide the best possible care for people with dementia. Around 45 of the hospital’s healthcare assistants are expected to complete the course, and will take part in a celebratory event on Monday, November 4.

Lisa Knight, Director of Patient Care and Chief Nurse, said: “We are so proud of our new dementia champions for completing this training. Healthcare assistants are at the front line of care, and this training means they will have the experience and confidence to help some of our most vulnerable patients. Patients and relatives will be able to recognise them on the wards, because all of our new dementia champions will be wearing blue forget-me-not flower badges.

“This kind of training is a first, but shows the value of investing in the front line. We intend to invest further in this kind of training and are leading the way for others too.”

The Improving Dementia Care course is a non-accredited course offered by The Open University. The content of the course puts care in context focusing on how quality of care can be improved. At the end of the course, students reflect on their learning and develop an action plan that can be discussed and implemented with their supervisor. The course content has been highly commended and welcomed by Alzheimer’s Society UK.

Liz Clark, Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Social Care at The Open University, said: “Care reform has been greatly debated recently in light of high profile reports such as the Francis Report and the Cavendish Review. The OU has responded by developing a range of flexible, short courses, including the Improving Dementia Care course. We are delighted to be working in partnership with Milton Keynes Hospital on the training and development of healthcare assistants and it is rewarding to see the impact of the dementia care course on practice. Through this partnership we believe we can tackle the challenges associated with providing high quality care for all.”

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