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New calls for dementia education at Congress


Professor of Dementia Studies Claire Surr, from our School of Health and Community Studies, has called for dementia education for all social and health care professionals, in a position paper launched at the Dementia Congress.

Although awareness, policy and guidance on the delivery of dementia education has increased, the HEDN believes that further work is needed to ensure dementia education is embedded into curricula.

Claire said: “It is recognised that health and social care staff need dementia training and there are dementia education frameworks for all of the UK nations, yet there is no mechanism for ensuring those training to work in health or social care receive education that covers the framework contents. HEDN therefore believe it is timely for Professional Regulatory Bodies to specifically state that these Frameworks should be adhered to within their registration criteria.”

The position paper discusses HEDN’s position on the importance of including dementia in pre and post-qualifying curricula for health, social care and housing professionals and is aimed at professional regulatory bodies. The network believes professional bodies have a clear role to play in ensuring the content of pre-qualifying programmes supports the health, social care and housing workforce in meeting the needs of those affected by dementia.

Reference to national knowledge and skills frameworks, say the HEDN, within Professional Regulatory Body requirements would ensure a more rigorous and consistent approach to dementia education nationally. This would support adoption of the Framework as a required and monitored sector minimum standard across all health and social care professions and the housing sector.  HEDN recommends that application of the Frameworks become a requirement for (re)validation of health and social care and housing pre-qualifying education. 

A second position paper will be published in early 2018 on best practice methods for embedding dementia education within the curriculum, aimed both at professional regulatory bodies and Higher Education Institutions.

HEDN is a group of lecturers in UK Higher Education Institutions who teach, lecture, research and manage courses and programmes related to dementia care. The network currently has members from over 65 different institutions from across the UK.

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