UK nurse training lacks consistent dementia training
There is a wide variation in the amount of dementia training healthcare students in the UK receive due regulators not using dementia training frameworks, according to the Higher Education Dementia Network, an open forum for those with an interest in, or responsible for courses in dementia care in universities across the country. This variation in training can lead to the healthcare workforce having different levels of knowledge and skills when caring for people with dementia.
The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), the regulator for nursing and midwifery professions in the UK, does not explicitly require universities to teach students about dementia in its current training standards. The Higher Education Dementia Network says while the NMC is developing new standards that will include dementia care, they still fail to mention meeting the standards of the nationally agreed upon dementia training frameworks.
Lecturers have since called upon the NMC and other regulators to require universities to adopt the Dementia Skills and Knowledge Education and Training Framework drawn up in 2015 by Health Education England, Skills for Health and Skills for Care.
The position paper published by the Higher Education Dementia network noted, “The existing dementia knowledge and skills frameworks from across the four home nations of the UK have been developed by expert panels including people affected by dementia, health and social care providers or their representatives, governmental bodies and education providers.”
Claire Surr, a member of the Higher Education Dementia Network and professor at Leeds Beckett University, said, “Professional bodies have a clear role to play in ensuring the health, social care and housing workforce are meeting the needs of those affected by dementia. We would like to see national knowledge and skills frameworks established as a required and monitored sector minimum standard. We recommend that application of the frameworks become a requirement for (re)validation of health, social care and housing pre-qualifying education.”