NWRC’s key role in delivering 300 ‘dementia champions’

We are the champions . . . Launching the Dementia Champions Training programme are, from left, Ryan Williams, Director of Connected Health, Seamus Erlean, Health and Social Care Board, and Louise Henry, North West Regional College.

We are the champions . . . Launching the Dementia Champions Training programme are, from left, Ryan Williams, Director of Connected Health, Seamus Erlean, Health and Social Care Board, and Louise Henry, North West Regional College.

Derry’s North West Regional College (NWRC) is to play a lead role in NI’s largest ever dementia care training programme.

More than 300 Health and Social Care Professionals from the statutory, private and third sectors are to be trained in dementia care under the Dementia Together NI project over the next 12 months as a result of the new partnership involving NWRC, Connected Health and Age NI.

The year-long programme is already more than 80% subscribed with strong demand across Northern Ireland’s health trusts.

The programme involves five days of intensive training and workshops, blended learning and the implementation of 300 dementia change and improvement projects as part of the practical application of the course.

Ryan Williams, Director of Connected Health, said: “Dementia affects more than 850,000 people in the UK with more than 20,000 of those in Northern Ireland. It is also estimated that more than 700,000 people across the UK provide informal care to those with dementia and that only 60% of dementia sufferers have actually been formally diagnosed.

“The programme is designed to attract and engage Health and Social Care Sector stakeholders who deal with dementia sufferers on a daily basis and empower these key personnel to champion positive change in the way the sector responds to the condition.”

Geraldine Lavery, Head of the School of Health and Social Care at North West Regional College, added: “The College has been at the forefront of Health and Social Care training over the last number of years and our expertise in terms of dementia care and education has been developed with a focus on practical learning, working with frontline professionals and harnessing the very best trainers and educators in Northern Ireland.

“We are delighted that this programme has been secured by a North West-based partnership as this is evidence of the skill and expertise being created in this sector at a local level.”

Seamus McErlean, Social Care Commissioning Lead at the Health and Social Care Board, said: “A considerable amount of hard work and effort has gone into developing this programme, involving training providers, academics, health and social care staff and people living with a dementia and their carers.”

Applications are being invited for the final places available in the Dementia Champions Training programme. For further info, contact catriona@connected-health.co.uk or call 028 71 867620.