I have been thrilled to have been involved with the National Dementia Strategy since very early on, when my wife and I were members of one of the early reference groups.
We are now involved with another stage, which is looking into Improved Training in an Effective Workforce, leading to higher standards of care by all staff involved in looking after people who have dementia, whether in care homes or hospitals.
At first I was a little worried that this would simply be another talking shop, but over the last few months we have seen people coming in from various regions, where new training schemes have set up, and things seem to be moving quite well.
Most of these staff in hospitals and care homes etc, do not understand the basics of dementia, and the homeowners and PCTs do not always want to train them, as it costs money.
But many of these people are doing this training in their own time,in distance courses etc, and things are starting to take turn for the better, as they are in a better position to tell the employer what is needed.
I have also heard it said that some staff who have gone to their employer, have then left for better jobs when the employer refuses to improve conditions.
So this training is making staff more aware as to what is needed in dementia care, and they are going to new employers who really want to improve standards. These people will be the leaders in training in the future, and they have my respect as they are working on their own attempting to get employers to work to better standards.
This has to be a good thing as those employers with lower standards, will be left behind eventually, and they may find that people will choose not to go there for care.
Although this is still in its early stages I am now becoming, more confident that things will change in the near future. Yes its taken a long time, but now we must remain positive, in the hope that one day all the stories of bad care homes goes into the history books and never happens again