The common core principles for supporting people with dementia

iStock_000008800117XSmall nurse and old woman reading leaflet

The Department of Health has commissioned Skills for Care and Skills for Health to produce new guidance for health and social care professionals who work with people who have dementia.

The publication provides guidance for leaders and managers, commissioners and training and education leads to develop a workforce that can create dementia friendly settings.

It also provides guidance on planning and delivering education for the wider workforce that is tailored to local contexts. This includes signposting to the national occupational standards and qualifications that support training and education but does not provide a prescriptive list of competences.

The common core principles for supporting people with dementia are:

  1. Know the early signs of dementia
  2. Early diagnosis of dementia helps people receive information, support and treatment at the earliest possible stage
  3. Communicate sensitively to support meaningful interaction
  4. Promote independence and encourage activity
  5. Recognise the signs of distress resulting from confusion and respond by diffusing a person’s anxiety and supporting their understanding of the events they experience
  6. Family members and other carers are valued, respected and supported just like those they care for and are helped to gain access to dementia care advice
  7. Managers need to take responsibility to ensure members of their team are trained and well supported to meet the needs of people with dementia
  8. Work as part of a multi-agency team to support the person with dementia.

Here’s the introduction from the report:

This guide presents eight Common Core Principles for Supporting People with Dementia. They can be used to enable workforce development for any member of staff working in health or social care with people at any stage of dementia, from the earliest signs to the fully diagnosed condition. The common core principles are relevant to every setting and provide a basis for a general understanding of the condition. They aim to build workers’ confidence in adapting their actions and communication in order to respond appropriately to the person with dementia. Signposting to resources and further reading has been included at the end of the guide.

Skills for Care, Skills for Health, Department of Health – Common core principles for supporting people with dementia: a guide to training the social care and health workforce (PDF), 9 Jun 2011.

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Andre Tomlin

André Tomlin is an Information Scientist with 20 years experience working in evidence-based healthcare. He's worked in the NHS, for Oxford University and since 2002 as Managing Director of Minervation Ltd, a consultancy company who do clever digital stuff for charities, universities and the public sector. Most recently André has been the driving force behind the Mental Elf and the National Elf Service; an innovative digital platform that helps professionals keep up to date with simple, clear and engaging summaries of evidence-based research. André is a Trustee at the Centre for Mental Health and an Honorary Research Fellow at University College London Division of Psychiatry. He lives in Bristol, surrounded by dogs, elflings and lots of woodland!

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