Health Minister Promises NHS Dementia Training

1.3 Million NHS Workers To Receive Training Before 2018

02.05.2014

Health minister Dr Dan Poulter has pledged that all NHS staff will receive specialist dementia training within four years.

There have been a number of high-profile abuse cases at hospitals and NHS trusts in recent years involving doctors and nurses who have either neglected, assaulted or failed to take care of people with dementia, reports the Telegraph.

Many people mistake some of the common behaviours of patients with the degenerative disease as "rudeness" or general "unpleasantness", according to experts, and this makes them the target of aggressive behaviour.

But following a high-profile campaign from the Telegraph, all 1.3 million NHS workers will receive guidance on how to better care for people with dementia before 2018.

This will mainly involve helping all staff, from porters to doctors, to help spot the early signs of dementia so that patients are formally diagnosed.

Many older people are just presumed to be "showing the signs of old age", when they actually have neurological conditions that could be treated through therapy and medicine.

Currently, just under half of people with dementia are formally diagnosed, while around a quarter of all hospital patients suffer from the disease.

Dr Poulter told the Telegraph: "Specialist consultants to look after older people are crucial, but we also need to equip all healthcare staff with the skills and confidence to support people with dementia and their families.

"Training all staff, from porters to doctors, to spot the early signs, to understand how to interact with people with dementia and to help people find the right care will provide important support."

Jeremy Hughes, chief executive of the Alzheimer's Society, backed Dr Poulter for making the decision to train NHS staff, calling it a "massive step in the right direction" and a mark of "huge progress".

According to Health Education England statistics, 110,000 NHS staff have received dementia training, with 250,000 due to have lessons by March 2015.

We can help you to claim compensation for clinical negligence if a serious injury or fatality has occurred as a result of inadequate supervision and care. See our Mental Health Negligence Compensation page for more information.

Expert Opinion
This is an important step towards ensuring that all Dementia sufferers receive the medical care they deserve from the NHS.

“As the UK population continues to age, action must be taken to ensure health and care plans are thorough and tailored to the individual to ensure they can live with and manage the illness in the best possible way.

“Dementia is a serious and debilitating condition for both the patient and their loved ones and they deserve the best possible care. To ensure that patients receive such standards of care it is vital they are diagnosed quickly and correctly at the earliest possible stage.”
Mandy Luckman, Partner