Royal College of Nursing

The RCN is a member organisation representing over 410,000 nurses and healthcare assistants across the UK. We represent nurses and nursing, promote excellence in practice and shape health policy.

Updated:
10 February 2016
Location:
National
Sectors:
Health, Care, Membership Organisations
Local Alliances:
East Midlands Regional Board

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 RCN fully supports the principles embraced within the National Dementia Declaration in achieving better outcomes for people with dementia and their carers.  The need to improve the experience of those affected by dementia is clear and we believe that nurses have a significant role in supporting this agenda. 

The RCN is keen to work collaboratively with a range of professional and voluntary organisations involved in the delivery of care for people with dementia and their carers. We would like to see a coordinated approach to sharing resources, good practice and developing ways forward to supporting the desired outcomes.

As a member organisation of over 410,000 nurses and health care assistants we will promote awareness of needs, disseminate resources  and work towards a better understanding of people with dementia and their carers amongst our membership.

We will support and lobby for the development of services which enable people with dementia and their carers to feel included, involved and consulted with and that meet individual needs. We promote the delivery of person-centred care, information and support by knowledgeable, skilled staff that is compassionate, promotes dignity, choice and ultimately helps to improve quality of life. The RCN has supported a national project on the care of people with dementia in hospital settings scoped the role of dementia nurse specialists and have worked collaboratively with stakeholders to develop and disseminate this work.

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

The specific challenges faced by the nursing workforce in delivering these outcomes include ensuring nurses are able to access good quality training and education. We welcome the focus on improved education and training for nurses and healthcare staff, including NMC guidance on core competencies in dementia and inclusion of dementia in pre-registration curricula and care certifciate programmes. We also welcome availability of good quality post- registration education in dementia to support the development of specialists and leaders. However significant challenges can be faced by staff in accessing appropriate education and in being supported to deliver care which is individualised and appropriate to need. In order to deliver the care that people with dementia and their carers need, nurses need to have 'time to care' and be supported by skilled, knowledgeable leaders. They also need the freedom to work within systems that support individual choice and promote inclusion. Our Frontline First campaign highlights some of the concerns about the potential changes to services which may pose a threat to the delivery of good care and availability of services. The RCN will act on the information provided by its members to ensure that these changes do not effect direct care.

Member contacts

http://www.rcn.org.uk/

Member website

www.rcn.org.uk

2. Actions

  • Dignity in dementia; transforming hospital care

    Support and delivery on a national project/campaign on the care of people with dementia in hospital settings.

    Status:
    Delivered

    2014 - Third Quarter Update

    The RCN continues to support the ambition to improve the experience of care for people with dementia and their families within  hospitals.  Following the development and launch of the Commitment to the care of people with Dementia in hospital settings in 2011, we have continued to share resources to help implement the SPACE principles.  

    www.rcn.org.uk/development/practice/dementia/commitment_to_the_care_of_people_with_dementia_in_general_hospitals

    Supported by the RCN Foundation, these resources remain in high demand, with the 'How to Guide' receiving 8,541 downloads and over 3000 hard copies of resources ordered between January and July 2014.

    The RCN Foundation also funded a year long development programme for nurse leaders across England and Wales to deliver, implement and evaluate improvements in dementia care in hospital during 2013- 2014. (See separate action) http://www.rcn.org.uk/development/practice/dementia/rcn_development_programme

    We have also been active members of the Right Care: Call to Action as part of the DAA work.

    2013 - First Quarter Update

    There have been 2040 downloads for online versions of the new Commitment resources whilst 6814 hard copies have been disseminated through workshops, events and via RCN Direct.

    2012 - Third Quarter Update

    Transforming hospital care

    The RCN continues to share and promote the ‘Commitment to improve care for people with dementia in general hospital settings’ launched last year.

    New resources have recently been developed to support practitioners in implementing the Commitment. These include a film and a practical 'how to guide' which includes tools and resources to support the implementation of the SPACE principles.

    Each section can be used independently to support learning, share ideas and encourage practitioners to transform the way care is delivered to people with dementia in hospital.

    2012 - Second Quarter Update

    The RCN continues to share and promote the ‘Commitment to improve care for people with dementia in general hospital settings’ launched last year.

    Further information about the commitment including how to access resources such as pocket guides, posters, pens and mouse mats, is available on : www.rcn.org.uk/dementia

    2012 - First Quarter Update

    The RCN launched the ‘Commitment to improve care for people with dementia in general hospital settings’ on the 21st September 2011. This has been developed collaboratively with and supported by a range of stakeholders including other royal colleges, and voluntary sector organizations.

    The aim is that this Commitment will be used as a guide to support the delivery of dignified care for people living with dementia and their families. It sets out five key ingredients with supporting factors, for promoting a positive experience for people with dementia and their families and for staff to use in making positive changes to care.

    SPACE – top five ingredients to support good dementia care

    1. Staff who are skilled and have time to care.

    2. Partnership working with carers.

    3. Assessment and early identification of dementia.

    4. Care plans which are person centred and individualised.

    5. Environments that are dementia-friendly. 

  • Working collaboratively with other organisations

    Working collaboratively with other organisations to ensure that good dementia care practice is disseminated and shared

    Status:
    Implementation

    2014 - Third Quarter Update

    The RCN continues to work collaboratively with other organisations to support improvements in dementia care.

    Specific engagement work has included:

    Royal College of Psychiatrists: National Audit of Dementia   CQC: Dementia Themed Inspection   NHS England/DH: Workforce development group DenDron/ Alzheimer's Society/ Dementia UK: Dementia Nursing Taskforce 2012-2014   http://www.rcn.org.uk/development/research_and_innovation/networks/clinical_focus_or_field_of_research2/dementia_nursing_research_taskforce DAA: The Right Care Call to Action HEE/ Skills for Care/ Skills for Health: Skills and knowledge for dementia Carers Trust: Triangle of Care for dementia

    2013 - Second Quarter Update

    Collaboration and involvement with local Dementia Action Alliances is being encouraged. In the East Midlands the RCN has been involved in funding a project with the University of Nottingham; this has produced ‘Inside out of mind’ a production about the experience of dementia in a hospital setting which is being launched in June. 

    2013 - First Quarter Update

    The RCN continues to work with a range of organisations and has been an active member of the Call to Action work for reducing anti- pyschotics and improving hospital care. We also contribute to the steering group for the National Audit of Dementia.

    Research in dementia

    The RCN is working with the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Dementias & Neurodegenerative Diseases Research Network (DeNDRoN) to set up a Dementia Nursing Research Taskforce (in partnership with Dementia UK and Alzheimer's Society), with the purpose of supporting the Prime Minister's challenge on dementia by:

    • Identifying key nursing research questions to support improvements in patient care in all settings.

    • Establishing writing groups to develop priority research proposals.

    • Developing a plan for building the nurse researcher capacity in dementia We are hoping to build upon the results of the recent James Lind Alliance/Alzheimer’s Society survey to identify key nursing research questions that will support improvements in patient care.

    Partnership working and supporting carers

    The RCN is working with Carers Trust, Dementia UK and Innovations in Dementia to develop a model for partnership working based on the Triangle of Care

    2012 - Third Quarter Update

    N/A

    2012 - Second Quarter Update

    N/A

    2012 - First Quarter Update

    We are promoting and disseminating the commitment across organisations and encouraging dementia leads to use the principles as a checklist, so that local actions can be developed in support of delivering the commitment.

    For further information about the commitment including how to access resources such as pocket guides, posters, pens and mouse mats please see: www.rcn.org.uk/dementia

  • Supporting increased understanding of dementia for nursing

    Supporting increased understanding of dementia and development of skills in dementia care through sharing of information, resources and  workshops/conferences for nursing staff  via the RCN wesbite

    Status:
    Implementation

    2014 - Third Quarter Update

    The RCN website dementia pages include a range of information and resources on dementia which are regularly updated and reveiwed.   

    Between January and May 2014, online resources continued to receive high levels of interest with a total of 78,003 views.

    A number of workshops about dementia have been delivered via the RCN regional offices plus a workshop was held at RCN Congress in Liverpool in June 2014.

    The recent national conference 'Transforming Dementia Care in Hospitals' held on 20th May 2014 attracted 130 delegates.

    2012 - Third Quarter Update

    We plan to develop a community of practice to identify and share best practice across different settings during 2013.

    2012 - Second Quarter Update

    The link mentioned above has received over 104,000 hits since its launch. www.rcn.org.uk/dementia

    1. At the RCN Congress 2012 which has attendance of 4,000 delegate resources and information about dementia were shared within presentations and events.

    2. A best practice gallery was launched in May 2012 to share innovative practice for people with dementia in hospitals.- this continues to be updated.

    3. An educational resource to support practitioners in making positive changes to their practice including a DVD / web-based film of people with dementia family carers and practitioners along with a supporting ‘how to guide’ was launched in the October 2012.

    4. Regional workshops were delivered during Autumn 2012 to over 300 nurses to share learning and disseminate the new resources

    2012 - First Quarter Update

    Supporting increased understanding of dementia for nurses

    The RCN has also developed a suite of on-line resources which aims to promote awareness and understanding about dementia and can be located on the link www.rcn.org.uk/dementia

    The RCN Dementia resource, offers a range of information about dementia in general and links to other resources that will help promote better understanding of the needs of people with dementia, their families and carers.

    It points to some of the most recent information sources available on dementia and includes:

    • information to support understanding dementia

    • resources for supporting people with dementia

    • resources for supporting carers

    • learning resources

    • national strategies, standards and guidelines

    • details of agencies and networks

    • information specific to different care settings

    • resources you can use to discover more 

  • Campaigning for specialist nurse roles

    Campaigning for specialist nurse roles, including dementia care nurses 

    Status:
    Implementation

    2014 - Third Quarter Update

    The report ‘Scoping the role of the dementia nurse specialist’ produced in association with Southampton University and published on the RCN website back in March has been viewed 1,216 times between January and May 20114.

    This work is being fed into current discussion and future work at the RCN about the role, scope and contribution of specialist nurses

    2013 - Second Quarter Update

    A report on the role and contribution of dementia nurse specialists working in an acute care setting by the University of Southampton and the RCN was published on 21st March 2013.

    The report highlighted the significant contribution dementia nurse specialists could make in hospital settings and called for further investment and development of these roles. Recommendations included the need for a systematic approach to the development of a ‘specific job’ for dementia nurse specialists, with therapeutic intent and a defined ‘caseload’, with clear competences and skills for the role. It also called for investigation into the impact of dementia nurse specialists in other settings in line with other nurse specialist roles

    2013 - First Quarter Update

    A report on the contribution of dementia nurse specialist in acute care settings and recommendations will be launched in March 2013.

    2012 - Third Quarter Update

    Contribution of nurse specialists to dementia care

    The RCN is currently exploring the role and contribution of nursing, and in particular dementia nurse specialist posts, initially in general hospitals. In order to examine the distinct contribution of dementia nurse specialists we are seeking information on specific nursing roles, which contribute to improvements and positively impact on the experience of hospital care for people with dementia and their carers. These may be hospital or community based.

    2012 - Second Quarter Update

    Supporting increased understanding of dementia for nurses;

    2012 - First Quarter Update

    Developing The RCN Dementia resource; 

  • Developing nurse leaders in dementia care

    Supporting the development of nurse leaders, including for dementia care to support and deliver improvements in care

    Status:
    Delivered

    2014 - Third Quarter Update

    The year long RCN development programme: 'Transforming dementia care in hospitals', funded by the RCN Foundation was completed in May 2014. This programme supported 27 nurse leaders with responsibility for dementia care across nine hospitals, to develop dementia care practice and evaluate benefits for people with dementia, family carers/supporters and staff.

    An independent evaluation undertaken by the Association for Dementia Studies at the University of Worcester, identified that each Trust made significant progress in improving support for patients with dementia, family carers and staff.   Innovative projects included Dementia Friendly A&E; Family Carers Feedback workshops; Patient Passports for personalised care; Education Programmes; Facilitated Activity; Reduction of ward moves; Pain Management; Carers Passport.

    The full evaluation report and summary report are available to download from the RCN website http://www.rcn.org.uk/development/practice/dementia/rcn_development_programme

    2013 - First Quarter Update

    The RCN Foundation is supporting a new 12 month development programme from March 2013. This will support nurse leaders and dementia leads to deliver improvements in the experience of care for people with dementia and their carers in hospitals.

    We will also share the findings of the report on the contribution of dementia nurse specialists in hospitals due in March 2013.

    2012 - Third Quarter Update

    N/A

    2012 - Second Quarter Update

    N/A

    2012 - First Quarter Update

    We are currently collating examples of best practice and gathering the evidence so that others can learn from successes and find out how people have delivered and made positive changes to care.

    We also plan to develop further resources and regional development programmes to support implementation of the commitment and increased understanding of integrated models of care for people living with dementia and their carers.

    For further information please contact Rachel Thompson:

    rachel.thompson@rcn.org.uk

  • Triangle of Care for dementia; Carers Included

    The RCN Foundation, in collaboration with Carers Trust, has supported the development of a Triangle of Care for dementia: a guide for the inclusion, involvement and support of carers. 

    Status:
    Implementation

    2014 - Third Quarter Update

    ‘The Triangle of Care for dementia; Carers Included: A best practice guide for dementia’ was developed in partnership with Carers Trust and in consultation with carers, people with dementia and practitioners. The framework offers a practical tool to improve partnership working and carer involvement in the care of people with dementia.

    A parliamentary reception was held on 20th January 2014 to mark the publication of the Triangle of Care and attended by 60 stakeholders including Hazel Blears MP.  The publication has been made available in hard copy and online along with best practice examples: See: www.rcn.org.uk/triangle

    Between January and May 2014, 1,399 hard copies were distributed and viewed online 1,216 times.

    2013 - Second Quarter Update

    This guide is being co-produced with practitioners, carers and people with dementia and supported by Uniting Carers, Dementia UK and Innovations in Dementia. 

    It will include examples of good practice and provide standards plus a self assessment tool for services in ensuring carer support, inclusion and involvement in care.