University of Wolverhampton

The University of Wolverhampton is a major provider of higher education, professional development, research and consultancy services in the West Midlands. With over 23,000 students and graduate employability at 90%, the University is a major player in the UK higher education sector, contributing to knowledge transfer, economic development, wealth creation and social justice.

Updated:
24 July 2017
Location:
West Midlands
Local Alliances:
Wolverhampton Dementia Action Alliance

1. Action Plan

1. The National Dementia Declaration lists seven outcomes that the DAA are seeking to achieve for people with dementia and their carers. How would you describe your organisation’s role in delivering better outcomes for people with dementia and their carers?

The University is committed to encouraging and providing support for projects that deliver meaningful benefits to people in the local community living with dementia and their families. We aim to raise awareness and improve education in the community and among health professionals, help to beat the stigma around dementia, and improve quality of life for those living with dementia and their families through evidence-based research, practice, policy and innovative products and services. Our Centre for Applied Research and Education (CARE) in Dementia brings together experienced researchers, teachers, practitioners and other professionals who have shared interests in dementia care. This working group was formed to prioritise dementia within the University agenda and to draw on shared expertise to facilitate high quality research and far-reaching education and training programmes. We continue to build on strong and enduring working relationships with local partners to ensure research and innovation is of highest quality and supported by the local workforce. The University has a strong history of collaboration with health and social care organisations and commissioners to promote the transfer of evidence-based knowledge from research to practice.

2. What are the challenges to delivering these outcomes from the perspective of your organisation?

There remains much stigma and a lack of awareness surrounding dementia in the public and the workforce, potentially causing barriers to their interest and involvement in these projects. Challenging perceptions of dementia must therefore form part of all projects in this field. The difficult economic climate affects not only the University but also partner organisations, limiting available funding streams and resources for research and innovation projects. A further challenge is presented through showing measurable change in outcomes for people living with dementia and their families following actions implemented as part of this commitment.

Member website

http://www.wlv.ac.uk

2. Actions

  • Develop Centre for Applied Research and Education (CARE) in Dementia

    Our Centre for Applied Research and Education (CARE) in Dementia was set up in 2012 primarily for decision making, information sharing, and establishing an identity and point of contact within the University for dementia work. We have been continuing to build this Centre by inviting members from other departments, service users and external partners to increase capacity and links to people with dementia in the community and in health and social care settings.

    The Centre plans to further its branding and identity with an update of its webpage (www.wlv.ac.uk/careindementia) and the use of printed media while attending local and national events. Through networking with partners and the community we aim to promote CARE in Dementia to increase interaction with the Centre, facilitating the sharing of information, best practice and innovation.

    Status:
    Delivered

    2015 - Second Quarter Update

    The Centre's webpage and printed media have been updated to reflect its five core workstreams and recent news and events.

  • Use of new and emerging technologies

    An important aspect of the CARE in Dementia’s agenda is collaboration with internal colleagues across the University’s Faculties and external partners – spanning the public, private, independent and voluntary sectors – to maximise the use of new and emerging technologies.

    There is a focus upon exploring and developing innovative products which improve communication channels and methods; extend service and information accessibility; support quality-of-life independence; and heighten awareness in a way that reduces stigma and promotes social inclusion.

    Over the coming years we aim to expand these projects to maximise the benefit of such products to the local community.

    Status:
    Delivery

    2015 - Second Quarter Update

    This project is currently ongoing and has received input from a range of sources including commercial business, community services, and service user and carer groups. Implementation of the interactive posters will take place over the summer.

    2014 - Third Quarter Update

    Following a successful bid to the Public Health Transformation Fund, the University of Wolverhampton are working with Wolverhampton City Council on a project to introduce  interactive posters to increase knowledge and provide information access points to the public and staff working in a range of community, commercial, clinical and retail services across the City. This project is in the advanced planning phase for completion Summer 2015.

  • Health and social care education and training

    FEHW works in part to enhance the quality of health and social care delivered to the people of the West Midlands through education and training. We currently have over 2600 students enrolled on health and social care courses including 166 postgraduates.

    The University has a strong history of collaboration with health and social care organisations and commissioners to promote the transfer of evidence-based knowledge from research to practice, promoting quality of care for people living with dementia and related conditions, such as mild cognitive impairment.

    Dementia currently features in the content of a number of our degree programmes and is taught by experienced practitioners and educators.

    In collaboration with local Council and NHS partners, the University will develop wider learning and training packages tailored to the needs of individuals, extending the message of dementia throughout health and allied professions, care services, businesses and the wider community.

    Status:
    Delivery

    2017 - Third Quarter Update

    Dementia training is now compulsory in Year 2 of the University's pre-reg nurse training programmes. A full evaluation of training is planned for October 2017.

    2015 - Second Quarter Update

    Dementia training is now featured on all of our nursing courses at the University of Wolverhampton. Our specific Level 7 module (Concepts in Dementia Care), which brings a contemporary perspective to the interdisciplinary care and treatment of service users diagnosed with Dementia and their carers and families, is to be run for a second time in October 2015 and is currently open for applications. Dementia topics will also feature on the physical activity curriculum from the Autumn. CARE in Dementia are working to complete a range of e-learning packages for use by our students and the care workforce. We have worked with external partners to deliver bespoke dementia education programmes, such as training around distress with Burton Hospital, and are currently evaluating those programmes. We will also contribute to the curriculum at the new Health Futures UTC.

  • Becoming a Dementia-Friendly Organisation

    The University of Wolverhampton recognises the need to follow by example and aims to place becoming a Dementia-friendly Organisation on the University-wide agenda.

    In partnership with services such as the Students’ Union, Chaplaincy, Staff Development Unit, Occupational Health and the Counselling Service, the University plans to implement specific actions that have benefit for people with dementia and their families. In particular, the University aims to strengthen existing support services for students and staff who are affected by a relative with dementia; implement policy change throughout the University to lay the foundations for better understanding and flexibility for staff and students who care for relatives with dementia; and raise awareness and support structures to ensure that staff who are diagnosed with dementia are treated with respect and understanding.

    Status:
    Investigating

    2017 - Third Quarter Update

    Several hundred students attended Dementia Friends workshops.

    Measures for moving this action forward by establishing better support networks within the organisation are currently being investigated.

    2015 - Second Quarter Update

    Around 50 senior leaders in the Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing have been invited to attend a Dementia Friends session during Dementia Awareness Week. Further sessions have been scheduled for other staff and students.

    CARE in Dementia are currently reviewing their strategy to include University-wide initiatives to promote dementia awareness and support within the organisation.

    2014 - Third Quarter Update

    The University of Wolverhampton are now offering Dementia Friends workshops to staff and students. To date 21 staff and approximately 70 students have attended workshops. These sessions will be rolled out further in the 2014/5 academic year.

  • Website development

    A website dedicated to the University’s work around dementia care will be further developed to bring together relevant information for staff, students and external organisations. Updated and more comprehensive information will be included with appropriate links.

    Status:
    Being implemented

    2017 - Third Quarter Update

    The CARE in Dementia website is available at http://www.wlv.ac.uk/careindementia and has been recently updated with old news removed and new updates included.

  • Research

    The University has increased its research capacity following an appointment of Reader in Public Health with particular expertise in dementia research. The research team are currently seeking funding for a range of large-scale projects around dementia, including risk factors, non-pharmacological interventions and other issues related to aging and dementia. CARE in Dementia are also working throughout the Faculty to facilitate high quality student projects in this field.

    Status:
    Planning

    2017 - Third Quarter Update

    The University has published a number of articles on dementia in academic journals. Individual researchers have actively sought research funding from a range of sources and have identified targets for future submissions.