The university will work over the next two years with six partner higher education institutions from across Europe as well as Alzheimer Scotland, which is a key collaborator of this project, to develop practice-based learning resources for dementia health professionals, aimed at improving extended palliative dementia care in the health sector.
In Europe between one third and a half of people living with dementia do so in resource-intensive facilities such as nursing homes and hospitals. The project, entitled Palliare, which refers to the often extended palliative care phase of dementia, has been developed in response to wide variation in the quality of care and service provision for people in the middle to late stages of dementia across Europe. The project aims to tackle stereotyping of dementia care as low skilled and dismantle leadership barriers facing certain disciplines with a predominately female workforce.
This initiative will see the creation of a range of social participatory and practice-based learning resources to equip qualified practitioners from all health (including physicians) and social care disciplines with the skills and knowledge to champion improvements to extended palliative dementia care in their workplace. A key feature of the project is the creation of an online facilitated international community of practice which will be a focus of knowledge exchange and practice based learning.
A national dementia workforce framework has been implemented within Scotland. This framework sets out the skills and competencies for practitioners who need to be dementia aware within their practice from basic to expert consultant levels.
A key part of the Scottish Government’s National Dementia Strategy is the Dementia Champions programme which drives a range of initiatives aimed at enhancing the quality of opportunities and support for people with dementia and their families at all points in their journey, from diagnosis to end of life. The programme sees UWS, in partnership with Alzheimer Scotland, deliver key dementia-related training to health professionals across Scotland.
The project will see the partner universities benefiting from UWS’s expertise in the field of dementia training and research, to successfully enhance dementia care across Europe.
UWS, which is currently working towards becoming Scotland’s first Dementia Friendly University, is widely recognised as a leader in the Scottish university sector in the field of dementia research and practice.
The co-ordinator for the project is Professor Debbie Tolson, Director of the Alzheimer Scotland Centre for Dementia Policy and Practice, a joint partnership between UWS and Alzheimer Scotland, which is based at the University’s Hamilton Campus.
Commenting on this project Professor Tolson said: “Dementia is a growing health concern across Europe and this project will see the creation of a range of practice-based learning resources which will equip qualified practitioners from relevant health and social care disciplines to champion change and deliver better care for people in advanced stages of dementia.
“The creation of a virtual international community of practice will also promote confidence, liberate untapped talent and encourage workforce mobility with the added value of improving the status of dementia care as a career choice.”
Read the original article at University of the West of Scotland: ‘UWS secures EU funding for European-wide dementia project’