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New Online Resource to Improve Communication and Care for People Living with Dementia

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A new online resource to improve communication and care for people living with dementia will be launched at the University of Worcester on Thursday

Stand By Me, a free e-learning course, has been developed by the University’s Association for Dementia Studies, Skills for Health and key partners, with funding from the Department of Health, and is aimed at health and social care practitioners from all settings to help them deliver high quality, person-centred care to people living with dementia and their families.

Created with the help of experts from Worcestershire Health & Care NHS Trust, Herefordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, Heart of Worcestershire College and Skills for Care, the new online course is based on a series of six short films reflecting a wide range of realistic situations, including visiting the GP surgery, supporting people at home in their own home, moving into a care home, being admitted to hospital, receiving paramedic services and end of life care.

The scripts were developed from a series of focus groups involving health and social care staff and people living with dementia and their families. Most of the actors in the films are real-life health and social care staff from across Herefordshire and Worcestershire, family carers and people living with dementia.

Professor Dawn Brooker, Director of the University of Worcester’s Association for Dementia Studies, said: “Communicating well with people living with dementia and their families is a core skill for health and social care staff whatever setting they work in. This online resource will help to build confidence to ensure that staff have the necessary skills to deliver excellent care.”

Skills for Health Regional Director for Southern England, Anne Clarke, added: “This course brings to light the importance of communicating and caring effectively for people living with dementia and their families. This is a fantastic course teaching learners the necessary skills needed to provide the best quality of care people with dementia deserve.”

The online resource has been developed following the success of a DVD resource of the same name, Stand By Me.

Feedback from health and social care practitioners has already provided evidence of the need for this type of training: “I really feel that the information I have gained from the course will help me to take a more person centred approach when working with people in our care home,” said one.

Another said: “I’ve done quite a few online learning sessions in the past and without doubt this is the best I’ve had the pleasure of using.”

The launch will take place at the University of Worcester on Thursday the 23rd April, where over 150 professionals from a wide range of settings will be able to see the new online learning in action.

Sean Macreavy, from Heart of Worcestershire College, said: “It was a real privilege for the Heart of Worcestershire College to be involved in this wonderful project. It was a wonderful opportunity for our HND Media Production students to work with a huge team of experts, professional health care practitioners and educators, as well as with people living with dementia and their families.

“Not only was the extensive filming schedule an excellent professional challenge, but the students gained an invaluable insight into this essential and important field of health care. We are immensely proud that our films are such a key component in this amazing new e-learning resource.”

For further information please contact The Association for Dementia Studies on 01905 542531, www.worcester.ac.uk/dementia or visit www.skillsforhealth.org.uk/e-learning.

A trailer for the e-learning course is available on You Tube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6SPC7w3gVB0