School of Dementia Studies

For 20 years the School of Dementia Studies (formerly Bradford Dementia Group) at the University of Bradford has been leading the field in dementia research, education, training and practice development – with the aim of enhancing the lives of people with dementia and their families, and supporting the practitioners who care for them.

Updated:
23 April 2017
Location:
National
Sectors:
Health, Care, Charity, Domiciliary Care, Education Sector, Hospices, Local Authorities, Research Sector, Social Care, Voluntary Sector

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?

1. The National Dementia Declaration lists a number of outcomes that we 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 of Bradford is pleased to endorse the key principles detailed in the National Dementia Declaration and fully supports the participation of its internationally renowned School of Dementia Studies in this national campaign to enhance the experience of living with dementia. As a leading academic unit, the University of Bradford's School of Dementia Studies contributes both to the development and application of evidence-based dementia care, in partnership with people with dementia, carers, service providers and organisations involved in dementia care.

The role of the School of Dementia Studies in delivering better outcomes for people with dementia and their carers centres upon the successful delivery of our three core areas of business; education and training, research and consultancy. The university of Bradford's School of Dementia Studies has already impacted positively on the outcomes for people with dementia and their families as evidenced by its effective education and training programmes, its research and its academics who lead the field in influencing practice and challenging and shaping policy. 

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

The challenges we face in delivering for people with dementia and their family carers include:

Education and trainingLack of a mandate for practitioners and professionals to have dementia -specific knowledge and skillsLack of career structure for dementia professionals and practitionersLack of employer engagement in selecting and supporting students for professional development. One consequence of this is the lack of mechanisms for students to cascade and disseminate this information on return to their workplaceBelief that training alone changes practice when while it is a necessary ingredient, it is insufficient on its own to effect practice changeReduction of funding to support students in seeking dementia specialist knowledge and skills. For example reduction of NHS Multi Professional Education and Training Budget. Reduced budgets in Local Authorities Lack of leadership in dementia care setting to which students returnLack of public and professional understanding that there is anything to be learned re dementia careLack of real world examples of excellence in dementia care practice and services to which students can be exposedStaff undertaking education and training are not provided with adequate support to study e.g. sent straight from night duty to training session, not provided with study time and are expected to do it all in own time, funding withdrawn part way through a course. 

Research

Relatively recent interest in health and social services (care) research on dementia (somewhat overshadowed by, itself poorly funded, research for cause and cure)

Difficulties in embedding cutting edge research findings into dementia practice Difficulty in researching effective programmes re sustainable change as time period is outwith period of most funding

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

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2. Actions

  • Work in partnership with care providers and the public

    We will actively engage with our key health and social care partners to ensure our strategies related to Dementia Care are aligned and will seek to establish shared projects that will impact on the self worth and sense of control of people with dementia and carers.

    Status:
    Delivery

    2015 - Second Quarter Update

    We are working with St Gemma’s Hospice to develop a bespoke dementia care training programme for hospice staff working across the Yorkshire and Humber region. 

    We continue to work with local acute NHS trusts to facilitate and empower NHS staff to engage in onward delivery of person-centred dementia care training to all staff working in a hospital setting. 

    We are a co-investigator in a 5-year action research project funded by the Health Foundation to co-design dementia care services in Bradford and the surrounding district. 

    We are collaborating with Bradford District Care Foundation Trust in a project to understand how to improve the dementia assessment services for South Asian families. 

    We continue to strengthen our partnerships with key care providers such as MHA and Bupa Care Homes and have developed and delivered bespoke training working workbooks and programmes. 

    We have been evaluating our bespoke training packages for both face-face and cascade training. We are keen to ensure that the learning through these our tailored work books and facilitated learning is being transferred into practice.  

    Public lectures

    We will be leading two discussion panels at the British Science Festival which is being held at the University of Bradford in September.

    Social networking

    Our following on facebook and twitter continues to grow.

    Media

    One of our staff worked as Wellcome scientific adviser to Chloe Fairweather, director and producer of Grandad and Me, a programme for CBBC.

    One of our staff was part of the advisory team for the series Dementiaville, produced by TwoFour for Channel Four.

    Conferences 

    This year will we again be Academic Partner to the UK Journal of Dementia Care Congress.

    2012 - Third Quarter Update

    Acute hospitals

    We have developed and delivered an innovative training package on person centred dementia care in acute hospitals. This interactive, workbook based programme includes a wide range of topics:

    Foundations of person-centred careThe physical environmentThe social environmentRedefining challenging behaviourPerson-centred care planningInvolving people living with dementia and their families in decision making

    Domiciliary care

    We will be presenting findings about our Dementia Care Mapping for Supported Living (DCM-SL) course for organisations at the UK Dementia.

    Congress in October 2012.

    Care homes

    We are working in partnership with Methodist Homes for the Aged to develop and deliver staff training for their workforce. The training approach includes the development of in-house peer facilitators and a 2012 - Second Quarter Update

    In partnership with Bupa, we are developing a training programme for families and supporters of people living with dementia and supporting them before,39 during and after their loved one has moved into a care home. Our approach involves running focus group sessions with families to understand their needs in relation to content and format of the training programme.

    Successful tender for development of person centred care home tool kit.

    2012 - First Quarter Update

    With funding from National Institute of Health Research School for Social Care Research, we are involving people with dementia in creating photographic images of their perspective of the home care environment.

    With Programme Development Grant funding from the National Institute of Health Research to improve health care in care homes, we have been working with our carer reference panel to get advice on recruitment and data collection. With funding from the School of Health Studies, we conducted a literature review on participatory action research (PAR) with people with people with dementia and their families. We will present a poster of this work at the Alzheimer’s Disease International 2012 conference in London. We have been using participatory video to facilitate the involvement of people with dementia. We presented this work at the 2nd International Visual Methods conference. 

  • Involving experts by experience

    We are committed to further developing the involvement of people with dementia and family carers in the design, delivery and evaluation of our education and training, research and consultancy projects.

    Status:
    Delivery

    2015 - Second Quarter Update

    We have increased the number of our Experts by Experience (people living with dementia and their family members) by holding several public-facing events including singing and social gatherings. Our Experts by Experience contribute to all aspects of our portfolio including our research, education and training.    

    We are delighted that we will be awarding Barbara Woodward-Carlton an honorary doctorate in health at our July 2015 ceremony.  This award is in recognition of her services to dementia research. 

    We have recently hosted a celebration event with our Experts by Experience panel to thank them for their valuable work with us.

    EDUCATION

    Our Experts by Experience are involved in the delivery, assessment and evaluation of our education programmes.  We work with them to create videos about their experiences of living, or caring for someone, with dementia. Each semester they help us to evaluate our programmes; ensuing that the curriculum is representative of their experiences. They also help us to assess our students by providing feedback on student presentations. 

    Our Experts by Experience joined our interview panel to help us appoint to four Alzheimer’s Society Doctoral Training Centre PhD studentships. 

    One of our senior staff is one of two academics who have joined the new National Young Onset Dementia Network steering group. This is ‘a movement of people living and working with young onset dementia committed to improving the lives of those affected’. The second meeting was held on 16th June 2015.

    TRAINING

    We have been developing 13 online modules on person-centred dementia care (at Tier 1 and Tier 2) for Health Education England.  This has involved making videos with our Experts by Experience to include in Tier 1 and Tier 2 modules on person-centred dementia care.  Tier 1 modules will be available to all and Tier 2 will be available to NHS staff. 

    RESEARCH

    Our NIHR research projects are conducted in partnership with people with dementia and their family carers.  For example, in our NIHR funded research project Better Health in Residents in Care Homes (BHiRCH) family carers are co applicants, participate in our Carer Reference Panels and will serve on our International Advisory Group.  We will also seek input from a small group of care home residents.

    People living with dementia and their family members play a central role in our Alzheimer’s Society funded Doctoral Training Centre Improving transitions for people with dementia and their families.

    2012 - Third Quarter Update

    We continue to work in partnership with people with dementia and their family carers in the design, delivery and assessment of our accredited distance learning modules for our BSc and MSc dementia studies. Service users with dementia contribute to teaching on the MSc Dementia Studies (Training pathway). Their contribution has been videoed and will be used to demonstrate innovative teaching methods and presented at the UK Journal of Dementia Care Congress.

    2012 - Second Quarter Update

    We are partnering with people with dementia and their families in a major care home culture change process.

    We serve on the National Dementia Strategy Workforce Advisory Group.

    We maintain an ongoing supportive relationship with Cannon Care Homes, to develop a model of excellence in dementia care within the organisation. 

    We have:

    facilitated sessions with all grades of staff within the three homes, to develop their ideas to assist people living there in leading fulfilling lives;supported the staff in developing plans to put these ideas into action;worked with key staff in the use of the Bradford Well Being Profile to inform person centred care planning, to improve well being and quality of life for people who live in Cannon Care Homes.

    We are continuing to work with Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council to develop the workforce across their residential and community based dementia services provision.

    We are working with Kent County Council and Kent and Medway NHS Social Care Partnership Trust to support care homes in Kent to bring about improvements in wellbeing for people with dementia. The project will run over 12 months and will monitor changes brought about by multi layered training including Leadership in Person Centred Care and DCM.

    We are currently working with Signature Senior Care to develop and embed a new system of person centred care planning that reflects contemporary person centred practice and facilitates individualised person centred interventions for residents that enhances wellbeing

    2012 - First Quarter Update

    We have engaged people with dementia and their carers to help shape our practice development work. In collaboration with colleagues at Barnsley Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust we have designed and will deliver and evaluate a training intervention to provide sustainable improvements in the acute care for people with dementia.

    We continue to work with Cannon Care Homes to develop and maintain a model of excellence in their care homes. We are currently involving all staff in identifying ways they can support residents’ sense of control and self worth.

    We continue to work in partnership with Bupa Care Services. We have delivered Celebrating success development days for Person First Coaches who we trained 9-12 months ago. We will be running a series of these days over the coming months in addition to continuing to train additional Person First Coaches.

    We are working with Opera North to develop and evaluate a drama group which engages with people with dementia and their carers from the local community.

    We have held our first staff drop-in information and support group for University of Bradford employees who are family carers to people with dementia.We have been commissioned by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation to write a review paper about how society can and should adjust to dementia.One of our PhD students presented her work on stigma and primary care at the 2011 Alzheimer Europe conference in Warsaw and to colleagues at the University of Nijmegen. Her further work in this area will be presented at the Alzheimer’s Disease International 2012 conference in London.Our training, education and practice development consultancy continue to actively challenge the stigma of dementia, both at organisational and individual levels.

    We are in the early stages of a National Institute of Health Research collaborative project exploring ways to improve healthcare in care homes and to reduce avoidable hospital admissions. We have been awarded funding from the National Institute of Health Research School for Social Care Research to carry out an 18 month participatory video project with people with dementia in long-term social care.

  • Engage in Positive Action

    We will actively engage in positive action with our students, people with dementia and carers, community groups and staff to reduce the stigma that can be associated with dementia.

    Status:
    Delivery

    2012 - Third Quarter Update

    Our modules require our students to have ongoing involvement of people living with dementia and family carers in their course work. We are polling our international Dementia Care Mapping (DCM) partners to learn about approaches they are taking to involve people with dementia and their family carers in conducting DCM quality improvement cycles and in teaching others to use DCM. This will be an agenda item when we meet with our international partners in the Autumn.

    We continue to work in partnership with people with dementia and their family carers in the design, delivery and assessment of our accredited distance learning modules for our BSc and MSc dementia studies. Service users with dementia continue to contribute to teaching on the MSc Dementia Studies (Training pathway). Their contributions have been videoed and will be used to demonstrate innovative teaching methods and presented at the UK Journal of Dementia Care Congress.

    In partnership with Bupa, we are involving families in the development of training materials for those whose relative is entering long term care.

    2012 - Second Quarter Update

    We continue to hold a staff support group for University staff who are caring for people with dementia.

    We have supported Occupational Therapy students in their learning associated with working with people with dementia.

    40 In collaboration with the Alzheimer’s Society, we held a dementia awareness event at the University of Bradford during dementia awareness week.

    A paper which describes using musical choice to explore life histories of people with dementia has been accepted for publication by the Journal of Applied Arts and Health. The paper is based on a coursework project carried out by BSc (Hons) Dementia Studies students.

    One of our BSc students wrote up the Bay Tree Voices film project, which involved people with dementia in producing film clips to be used as teaching resources. The student’s report on the project has now been featured on the University of Bradford’s Community Engagement web page.

    We are leading an NIHR Programme Development Grant on Improving health care in care homes collaborating with colleagues in a range of sectors throughout the UK as well as academic colleagues in the Netherlands and the US. To complement this work, the University has created a PhD studentship to explore the area of improving health care in care homes. We have appointed to this post. We are leading on an NIHR Social Care project exploring the use of participatory video with people with dementia in care homes. We are continuing to work with two local NHS Acute Hospital Trusts to test the effectiveness of evidence-based training materials and models of learning on staff knowledge, skills and attitudes towards people with dementia. We are also measuring the effectiveness of this training on the experience of care for people with dementia in acute hospital settings.

    2012 - First Quarter Update

    We will launch the UK’s first Postgraduate Certificate in Dementia for Practitioners with a Special Interest in September. This course was commissioned by the East Sussex Joint Commissioning Group and is designed to support Primary Care practitioners such as GPs and nurses to undertake assessment, diagnosis and on-going support of people with dementia in primary care. This reflects a commitment to providing the majority of diagnosis and prescribing of anti-dementia drugs services via primary care in East Sussex. The first cohort of students includes practitioners from East Sussex and Northumberland, Tyne and Wear.

    Acute care

    We have developed acute hospital “Dementia Champions” who have been trained to deliver the Foundation level of person centred care training for all staff in the Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. “DementiaChampions” will shortly begin the roll out of this training to two thousand staff in the hospital. These “Dementia Champions” have been developed as part of a wider model of acute workforce development which can be used by any acute hospital. We will train and develop peer facilitators of learning to both.

    foundation and intermediate level. Having piloted this programme during the summer in one acute hospital, this will be available to acute hospitals nationwide from the autumn.

    Care homes

    We have worked in partnership with MHA to devise a range of training materials to support staff to deliver person-centred care within their care home settings. As part of the implementation we have trained a number of Dementia Facilitators who will deliver the training in a number of MHA care homes.

    This reflects an on-going training partnership that has been created between the two organisations. We continue working with Nightingale - Hammerson in London to bring about sustainable culture change across the Home. We are training and mentoring Person Centred Care Champions to support their peers in understanding and supporting the needs of people living with dementia.

    Champions are drawn from across the staffing team including deputy managers and domestic staff. People with dementia and their families have been actively involved as 49 partners in the change process. We are running on open evening for relatives of people who live at Nightingale Home, providing advice andsupport on how to make the most out of their visits.

  • Ensure accessible training and education

    We will further develop our education and training in order to widen access to all strata of the health and social care workforce, working in partnership with people with dementia and their families.

    Status:
    Delivery

    2015 - Second Quarter Update

    TRAINING

    We have developed a suite of bespoke training for different health and social care sectors including acute, care home, hospice and domiciliary care. This training includes supporting people living with dementia as well as their families.

    Through agreements made with Health Education Yorkshire and the Humber we are delivering training to small-independent care homes in East Yorkshire who otherwise would not be able to access our training.

    We continue to work with our international partners in over ten countries to deliver our learning to use DCM™ course.

    EDUCATION

    We have added a training specialism to our undergraduate BSc award in dementia studies. This new BSc Dementia Studies (Training in Dementia Care) means that our popular postgraduate training pathway is now also available at an undergraduate level. 

    We have developed a new postgraduate certificate Arts and Activities in dementia care for arts practitioners, activity coordinators and others with an interest in developing and delivering creative activities with people living with dementia. 

    We are developing a Dementia Aware Web Application for our pre-registration Nursing and Allied Health Professionals students to ensure that all of the healthcare workforce graduating from the University of Bradford are dementia aware. 

    We have updated our web pages to ensure ease of navigability and access.

  • Ensuring evidence-based approaches to improving dementia care

    We will grow our research to create new knowledge that will translate into improved outcomes for people living with dementia and their families.

    Status:
    Delivery

    2015 - Second Quarter Update

    Our person-centred dementia care research spans from early experience of changes associated with dementia through to end of life and bereavement.

     

    We have recently published papers in the following areas:

     

    The person’s experience:

    Participatory film making with people with dementia

    The person’s experience of living with behavioural variant fronto-temporal dementia

     

    Assessment and diagnosis

    Stigma of dementia and general practitioners

    Conversational assessment in memory clinics

     

    Developing person-centred care skills

    Developing person-centred dementia care skills

    Staff-residents interactions in care homes

    Education programme for family carers to enhance occupational engagement

     

    End of life care

    Advance care planning

     

    Research awards

    One of our team is a co-investigator in a Medical Research Council funded study, DECIDE, to design a new measure of quality of life for carers.  The study is led by our colleague in the University of Leeds.

    We are delighted to have been awarded a prestigious Alzheimer’s Society Doctoral Training Centre on Improving  transitions in care for people with dementia and families.  This submission was made in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Bradford conducting internationally recognised research in Patient Safety and Pharmacy.

     

    One of our Dementia Care Consultant Trainers, Lindsey Colins, has been awarded a prestigious Alzheimer’s Society Clinical Fellowship to pursue PhD research on the experience of eating and drinking difficulties from the perspective of people living with dementia.

     

    One of our Research Fellows, Dr Sahdia Parveen, has been awarded a prestigious three year post-doctoral fellowship from the Alzheimer’s Society to explore how cultural obligations, willingness and preparedness to care influence on family carers’ quality of life when providing care for a person living with dementia at home.

    Collaborative research development

    We joined the national network of research active colleagues at a dementia academic centres meeting at the University of Nottingham

    We are involved in a European Joint Programme on Neurodegenerative Diseases study, RHAPSODY, focused on developing internet-based information for carers of people with young onset dementia.

    We continue to be involved in the NIHR HTA GREAT trial testing the effectiveness of cognitive rehabilitation for people living with dementia.

     

    We continue to be involved in the NIHR HTA trial testing the effectiveness and cost effectiveness of Dementia Care Mapping.

     

    We have made several new research staff appointments:

     

    Professor Gail Mountain will join us in September as Professor in Applied Dementia Studies; Dr Alan Blighe has joined our team as Research Programme Manager;and Dr Catherine Powell has joined as Research      Fellow on our study Better Health in Residents in Care Homes (BHiRCH)

     

    We have made new or extended honorary professorial appointments with the following:

     

    Professor Graham Stokes

    Professor Ian James

    Professor Myrra Vernooij-Dassen

    Professor Richard Fortinsky