• The experiences of staff in a specialist mental health service in relation to development of skills for the provision of person centred care for people with dementia

      Smythe, A.; Bentham, P.; Jenkins, C.; Oyebode, Jan R. (2015-03-01)
      It is estimated that 820,000 people in the UK have dementia. Dementia costs the UK 17 billion a year and in the next 30 years this will treble to over pound50 billion a year. There is a need to raise competence of staff delivering care to people living with dementia across health, social and voluntary sector provision. Effective education and training will build capacity and improve staff knowledge. However, at present not enough is known about the experiences of staff involved in gaining the skills, knowledge and attitudes required to support provision of high quality care for people with dementia. This study was conducted within a large National Health Service Trust in the UK serving an urban, ethnically mixed population, in collaboration with a local university. The trust responded to government policy by seeking to identify staff training needs. The aim was to explore the experiences of staff working within a specialist mental health service in relation to development of skills for the provision of person-centred care for people with dementia. To achieve this, staff roles, experiences of dementia training and the ways in which staff feel they learn were explored through focus group interviews. Relatives' views of staff competencies necessary for effective care provision were also explored to supplement the data from staff. A total of 70 staff and 16 family carers participated and data were subjected to inductive thematic analysis. Five themes emerged: competency-based skills, beliefs, enablers and barriers and ways of learning. Findings suggested participants felt that skills for person-centred care were innate and could not be taught, while effective ways of learning were identified as learning by doing, learning from each other and learning from experience.