Welcome to the UCLPartners Integrated Mental Health update on Dementia Awareness Training.
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Dementia awareness training newsletter

Training 27,000 staff. Improving dementia care.

Hello again

As we reflect upon continued activities across the region, we warmly congratulate all our partners on the '27,000 Trained' project for their outstanding commitment and efforts to implement and deliver training within their organisations. The project has exceeded the ambition set and has trained in excess of 28,000 healthcare staff across north, central and east London, an incredible achievement by all involved. 

This phase of the project has delivered opportunities to develop new resources, a renewed focus and has initiated new networks and engagement. These networks act as an important element for the continued focus on dementia awareness. They provide platforms for shared learning and encourage organisations and professionals to collaborate further on resources and opportunities to improve the lives of those living with dementia, their carers and families. 

Throughout the project, those living with dementia have remained at the centre of all developments. We have been delighted to collaborate with East London NHS Foundation Trust (ELFT) and Buz Loveday from Dementia Trainers to launch an additional training resource to support the ‘Still Here’ film. The film, commissioned in May 2014, introduced an impactful message to raise awareness of issues around the diagnosis of dementia in young people, focusing on the experiences of a fictional character Abdul Hassan. The training materials developed in February 2015, are interactive and engaging. They encourage healthcare staff to empathise and relate to people with dementia, and understand the impact of early onset dementia on people and their families.

Jonathan Warren, ELFT Director of Nursing said:

“We wanted the film to reflect the multicultural community we work with in East London. 'Still Here' is moving and powerful. I know it will prompt interesting discussion among our staff and help to shape our approach when supporting individuals and their families, especially young people who become carers.“

If you’re interested to hear more about this film or receive copies of the training resources, please do not hesitate to contact:

Eirlys Evans, ELFT Deputy Director of Nursing: 
or Sian Jones, Senior Project Manager, UCLPartners:

Interview with Tim McLachlan, Operations Director at Alzheimer's Society


Can you tell me a little bit about your role?

As operations director at the Alzheimer's Society, I am responsible for all the direct help and support we offer to people with dementia, their families and carers across the 33 London Boroughs. The London region includes several hundred services from dementia advisors and support workers to day care, cafes and Singing for the Brain. I am also the Chair of the pan-London Dementia Action Alliance (DAA) which has a simple and practical vision of making life easier for people with dementia in London.

What are your key priorities?

My key priorities flow from the Alzheimer's Society Strategy 2012-2017 'Delivering on Dementia'; particularly to demonstrate the way forward in dementia care and support and to be the foremost point of contact for information on dementia. This means ensuring our services across London are consistent, high quality and involve people with dementia in how they are developed and delivered. I want to ensure that anyone with dementia living in Greater London knows about, and has access to, a dementia advisor and to the other support they need relevant to the progression of their condition. This could be activities, day care, support for carers or a home visit. Dementia is progressive so we want the support we offer to wrap around that journey which is individual to every person. This helps achieve one of the seven outcomes described by people with dementia in the National Dementia Declaration: 'I have support that helps me live my life'.

What are the main challenges to achieving these?

Our service provision across London is not consistent. It is like a broken mirror where the reflection you receive depends on where you are looking. I want to there to be the same reflection in every borough, the same services wherever someone lives; dementia advisors and support workers to be available from Hillingdon to Havering and to have support for carers and activities from Enfield to Croydon. The challenge is securing the funding to realise a consistent and comprehensive service across the different boroughs, which make London one of the most diverse cities in the world. We are working hard with local authorities and clinical commissioning groups to develop, deliver and maintain the right local services and London wide coverage, to overcome the current fragmented provision.

Can you tell me about some of the initiatives you are involved in?

I am very excited about the growth of Dementia Action Alliances (DAAs) across London and in particular, the pan-London DAA. These are the vehicles that will create dementia friendly communities and actually make life easier for people with dementia in London. From transport and emergency services to Historic Royal Palaces, shops and council services, the practical action plans agreed by DAA members means that one day we can create a dementia friendly city.

I am also very excited about the launch this week of Alzheimers Society's vision for our National Appeal. We need to raise millions of pounds to beat dementia through increasing research and through extending our services. We can and we must do this as there will be over 1 million people with dementia in the UK by 2021. By 2051, when I hope to retire, that will have doubled and I myself could be one of that number. I am proud to be part of the national appeal that our Dementia Ambassador Angela Rippon described as 'like an insurance policy' for us all.

Is there anything else you would like to mention that we haven’t covered?

I am sometimes asked why I am working so hard for people with dementia. My answer is simple, because dementia affects everyone and that means me and you. It has already affected my family and I want to ensure that wherever it strikes next the best help and support is available. It could be you or me, my parents or yours. Whoever and wherever it strikes, it is a privilege for me to be part of the Alzheimer's Society in caring today while seeking a cure for tomorrow.

Increasing dementia awareness: 

the '27,000 trained' project

On 11 February, UCLPartners and Eastman Dental Hospital held their first seminar for dentists and dental professionals in dementia awareness. Presentations focused on the challenges faced by people living with dementia a carer's perspective and maintaining oral health. With over a hundred attendees, the event was highly commended for providing information on a rarely discussed issue and for its multidisciplinary focus. One attendee stated: "It was well presented and delivered, a very important issue that is ignored by most dental care professionals. Well done for discussing this very important topic.”  

Feedback forms from the seminar showed that confidence levels substantially increased in all dental professionals in providing advice to patients and delivering treatments. Following this success, further events are being planned with the aim of helping dental professionals provide appropriate and bespoke care to their patients with dementia. 
For the second consecutive year, UCLPartners was invited to present at the 100% Optical event, a 3-day conference held for professionals in optometry at Excel London. We were grateful and privileged to jointly present with the UCL Dementia Research Centre. This collaboration allowed us to not only raise dementia awareness but to educate on the visual variant of dementia - posterior cortical atrophy - and the symptoms that it causes. The presentations received much engagement from attendees and the Association of Optometrists (AOP) intend to use the seminars delivered as an e-learning module for their members. Additional engagement has been initiated between the College of Optometry, UCLPartners and UCL Dementia Research centre. This network is working to review the training across the College and develop enhanced resources in the future. 
There is a collective focus to provide easily accessible training and resources on dementia to pharmacists. To achieve this, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, Green Light Pharmacy (training wing) and UCLPartners are keenly collaborating to review where training currently exists and identify opportunities to revise and develop materials. Once completed, training will be piloted with the vision of embedding it on a long-term learning platform. Uptake and impact of increased activity in dementia awareness training will be measured to evaluate training. 

Upcoming events

Dementia Awareness Week 2015
17-23 May 2015
Throughout the week there will be a host of activities dedicated to raising awareness and understanding of dementia and supporting services to enable people to live well with the condition. Please check the UCLPartners website soon to find out about what plans we have during this week. We would very much like to hear of activities you are arranging within your organisation.

The Alzheimer’s Show 
5-6 June, Olympia London
The Alzheimer’s Show, in association with Alzheimer’s Society, is the UK’s only conference and exhibition for those affected by dementia. Since its launch in 2013, the show has welcomed nearly 5,000 carers, care professionals, families and friends. The event provides an opportunity to discover the latest and best products, services and information to help those with Alzheimer’s and dementia.
The UK Dementia Congress
3-5 November, International Centre Telford

This conference, now celebrating its 10th anniversary, is the largest annual dementia-focused event in the UK and the whole of Europe. The programme will bring an exciting mix of plenary sessions, workshops, symposia and posters. As in previous years, a strong theme running through the Congress will be the experience of people with dementia, and involvement of them and their families in services at every level.

Going forward

Without the commitment of all the participating organisations and individuals involved, the achievements of this project would not have evolved as they have. Over the past three years, the project has seen 200 new trainers deliver dementia awareness sessions within their organisations. The project has extended to new community groups and key stakeholder organisations within these groups working together with a common focus to implement and embed training across their networks. There is a tangible appetite among all those involved for a continued focus to raise awareness of dementia and improve confidence and knowledge among those working in healthcare.

The Prime Minister and Health Education England have renewed their commitment to train all healthcare staff in dementia awareness by 2018. With the foundation of work achieved during the '27,000 trained' project and many organisations embedding training within their mandatory platform, this joint vision is achievable. Opportunities for continued shared learning, a platform for networking and integration between healthcare providers remain key components to continued development and ongoing success.

 Dementia awareness training now available

For further information please contact 

Contact us:

UCLPartners, 3rd Floor, 170 Tottenham Court Road, London W1T 7HA

020 7679 6633 

Project Managers:
Sian Jones & Sharon Milne 

Project Coordinator: 
Tanya Suhalitka