Experienced health and social care staff are nominated by their employer.
Learning is supported by facilitators. The role of the facilitator is to mentor learners as they study the learning course, while helping them to meet their personal learning objectives. This involves encouraging them to reflect on their previous experiences and practices, supporting them to link new knowledge to real-world experiences.
All of the learner course content is written to meet the skilled level of knowledge in the 'Promoting Excellence: A framework for all health and social services staff working with people with dementia, their families and carers'. Learning materials for the facilitator and a group of eight learners are written in a self-study format designed to be meaningful for staff in a range of care settings such as:
One work book is completed each month.
Organisations nominate a senior member or members of staff who want to become a facilitator to undertake this course. Those student facilitators will attend a two day face-to-face workshop delivered by the Dementia Services Development Centre (DSDC) teaching team. Student facilitators then return to their practice setting to facilitate the course for eight learners. During this time they will receive support on request from the DSDC team.
On successful completion of the course, facilitators will receive 20 credits at SCQF level 8. Qualified facilitators may then continue to facilitate the learning course so long as they meet the criteria for being a facilitator.
Assessment is by two reflective accounts.
The Dementia Services Development Centre (DSDC) is an international centre of knowledge and expertise dedicated to improving the lives of people with dementia. As part of the Faculty of Social Science at the University of Stirling, we have recognised for a long time that health and social care staff want to improve support for people with dementia. Most staff know that it is possible for people to experience good health and wellbeing but often lack the knowledge, skills and tools which would help them to improve their practice. It is essential that they are able to understand what good practice in dementia care looks like and the positive impact that it can have on the experience of a person.
Pauline is a qualified Registered Mental Health Nurse specialising in the care of people with dementia and particularly those people who experience severe behavioural and psychological symptoms as a result of their illness. Her role at DSDC involves the development and delivery of training, including the flagship Best Practice in Dementia Care Learning Programme for which she won Scottish Health Awards Nurse Award 2014, leading on the support of facilitators of the Best Practice programme, writing and developing other training programmes and courses, writing articles for publication and consulting on long term care.
Lynda is a qualified Registered Mental Health Nurse and has held varying roles within dementia care over the years. She has experience in both hospital and community settings, and more recently within the third sector, supporting families living with dementia post diagnosis. Since 2010 Lynda has studied at both undergraduate level in Dementia Studies and latterly attaining a postgraduate Diploma in Dementia Studies. This enabled Lynda to further develop services within the third sector for those living with dementia through evidence based interventions.
Wendy Perry is acting Head of Learning and Development for the Dementia Services Development Centre and has been working with older adults for over 25 years. She has been specifically involved in the development, staff training and management of memory support services in both the US and the UK, as well as dementia research in care homes over the last 15 years.
Of particular interest to her are the improvement of services for people with advanced dementia, understanding and responding to stress and distress in people living with dementia, and empowering care staff to make positive changes in their work culture. She currently teaches on the Meaningful Activity, Best Practice, Distressed Behaviour, Intersection of Dementia + Design and Dementia Leadership courses at the DSDC.
This course has enabled students to develop practice within their existing posts and some previous students have moved to more specialised or promoted posts. It has also encouraged some students to continue with research on completion of their studies. Other students have become involved in training initiatives.
The Best Practice in Dementia Care learning course is intended for experienced professionals from all relevant disciplines. Our students learn transferable skills that enable them to impart knowledge to colleagues and other students, transfer awareness and implement action in the community, and provide training to family members and carers. The course enhances employability within the broad field of dementia care and enables students to move to more specialised and promoted posts within health and social care settings.
Please complete the application form and return it to the course support team at firstname.lastname@example.org.