New NICE dementia guidance
(NG97, Dementia: assessment, management and support for people living with dementia and their carers, 20 June 2018)
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has published a new guideline document regarding the assessment, management and support for people living with dementia and their carers last month. The guideline covers diagnosing and managing dementia (including Alzheimer’s disease) and aims to improve care by making recommendations on educating care practitioners and helping carers to support their loved ones living with dementia.
The guidance makes the following recommendations for staff training:
1.13.1 Care providers equip all staff with training in person-centred and outcome-focused care for people living with dementia, which should include:
- Understanding the signs and symptoms of dementia, and the changes to expect as the condition progresses
- Understanding the person as an individual, and their life story
- Respecting the person’s individual identity, sexuality and culture
- Understanding the needs of the person and their family members or carers
- The principles of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and the Care Act 2014
- Understanding the organisation’s model of dementia care and how it provides care
- How to monitor and respond to the lived experience of people living with dementia, including adapting communication styles
- Initial training on understanding, reacting to and helping people living with dementia who experience agitation, aggression, pain, or other behaviours indicating distress
- Follow-up sessions where staff can receive additional feedback and discuss particular situations
- Advice on interventions that reduce the need for antipsychotics and allow doses to be safely reduced
- Promoting freedom of movement and minimising the use of restraint
- If relevant to staff, the specific needs of younger people living with dementia and people who are working or looking for work.
- The extent of their responsibility to protect confidentiality under data protection legislation
- Any rights that family members, carers and others have to information about the person’s care (see recommendation 1.3.5 on information sharing between different care settings)
1.13.2 Care providers should provide additional face-to-face training and mentoring to staff who deliver care and support to people living with dementia, including:
1.13.3 Providers should also consider giving carers and/or family members the opportunity to attend and take part in staff dementia training sessions.
1.13.5 Ensure that all health and social care staff are aware of:
1.13.6 Health and social care professionals advising people living with dementia (including professionals involved in diagnosis) should be trained in starting and holding difficult and emotionally challenging conversations.
In addition to this resource, you or your staff may also benefit from one of the range of dementia courses available from HCPA, all of which are free to members (fully funded by Herts County Council).
The courses suit all levels of care practitioners, from those new to care positions, to more experienced colleagues and those in senior positions.