5 Members of Staff from NHS Forth Valley Graduate as New Dementia Champions in Scotland

On Wednesday, 28 January 100 health and social services professionals from all parts of the country graduated to become the latest additions to Scotland’s pioneering Dementia Champions Programme. An audience of around 200 celebrated their achievement.

The event started with a keynote address delivered by Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing and Sport, Shona Robson MSP.

Congratulating the graduates on completing the programme, Ms Robson will pay tribute to the time and effort they have put into the intensive training including study days and assignments.

“Providing the highest standards of care to patients with dementia is a key priority of this Government and I am truly impressed with the commitment and dedication you have shown in enhancing your skills.

“It was my privilege to have been responsible for developing Scotland’s first National Dementia Strategy and it is gratifying to witness how well the national workforce development strand has progressed since 2010.

“The Dementia Champions Programme is one major part of the Promoting Excellence workforce development programme and has made a vital contribution to improving the experiences of people with dementia and their carers. Today’s graduates join over 400 dementia champions already making a difference in our Scottish hospitals.”

The graduates are the fifth cohort to complete the programme and bring the number of Dementia Champions in Scotland to over 500. Each Champion is dedicated to bringing about improvements in the experiences and outcomes of care and treatment for people with dementia.

Participants for Cohort 6 are currently being recruited and will start their programme in April 2015.

Improving the care and experience of people with dementia in acute general hospitals was a priority area in Scotland’s first dementia strategy and continues in the 2013-2016 refreshed strategy.

That update included a commitment to deliver key change areas set out in a 10-point action plan. This will support implementation of the Standards of Care for Dementia in acute care, to make sure that people with dementia receive the highest standards of hospital care and to maximise the impact of investment made over the last two years.

The plan will support service improvement at NHS Board level by helping to focus and coordinate a range of initiatives taken forward over the last two years.

Following the graduation, the remainder of the day brings an opportunity to showcase and celebrate the work of Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Nurses and AHP Dementia Consultants and previous cohorts of Health and Social Services Dementia Champions and Social Services Dementia Ambassadors who have introduced improvements in the care and treatment and support of people with dementia and their families/carers.