Pioneering dementia programme to transform healthcare
Time for Dementia is a brand new study on Join Dementia Research, that is calling families living with dementia in Surrey and Sussex to take part. The study is the first of its kind in the world, to help train the healthcare professionals of tomorrow and improve the way that people with dementia are cared for by health services.
The study will involve 800 medical, nursing and paramedic students spending regular time with families affected by dementia over two years. About 200 families in Surrey and Sussex are currently taking part and the hope is to recruit at least 400.
Students will visit a family three or four times a year for up to two hours each time. The idea is to improve knowledge, attitudes and empathy towards people with dementia and their carers.
Benefits of the programme
The benefits to students and families will be comprehensively evaluated. Feedback from the 130 families and the 260 students who have taken part in the pilot phase of the project has been highly positive, describing enjoyment of the student visits and new insights from the sharing experience.
Background to the study
Time for Dementia builds on small scale projects carried out in the US. However, these have been optional rather than a core component of the curriculum. They have also only been run in medical schools.
Need for people to take part
Over 850,000 people live with dementia in the UK and 25 million have a friend or family member with the condition. Sussex and the South East has the highest proportion of older people of any area in the UK. Across Sussex over 25,000 people currently have dementia and this is set to rise to 30,000 over the next 10 years.
You can see if you are eligible for this study by logging into your Join Dementia Research account. If you are not yet registered with Join Dementia Research, you can sign up online by visiting www.joindementiaresearch.nihr.ac.uk/beginsignup.
Time for Dementia is led by Professor Sube Banerjee, Director of the Centre for Dementia Studies at Brighton and Sussex Medical School / Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, who says:
“We want to help healthcare students understand what it is really like to live with a long-term health condition like dementia. They will learn about what it is to be old and ill in society, and how people adapt and manage living with serious long-term illness over time. This will help build compassion and understanding. It will help equip them for their future careers as health professionals and help us provide better care.
“This is the most ambitious programme of its type anywhere in the world, and we envisage that it will change the way in which healthcare students of the future learn about dementia.”
Sophie Mackrell, Alzheimer’s Society Project Manager for the Time for Dementia programme, said:
“We think it is of the utmost importance to involve people with a diagnosis of dementia and their carers or family on the training of these trainee healthcare professionals. This programme gives the students a chance to learn from the experts on dementia – the people directly affected by the condition. It’s a good way for them to gain knowledge first hand of what it’s like living with dementia and the challenges they have to overcome. There are more than 43,700 people living with dementia in Surrey and Sussex and it’s crucial that more people in the field of healthcare are aware of the condition.”
Watch Professor Sube Banerjee, Chief Investigator for Time for Dementia, talk more about the programme:
You can see if you are eligible for this study – and others around the nation by logging into your Join Dementia Research account.
Still not registered with Join Dementia Research? Why not sign up today?
The programme is being delivered by Brighton and Sussex Medical School and the University of Surrey in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Society and the NHS. It is funded by Health Education Kent, Surrey and Sussex which is part of Health Education England, the body that funds undergraduate training of healthcare professionals.