Physiotherapy support worker calls for more dementia training for NHS staff
A physiotherapy support worker has called for greater access to dementia training for all NHS staff, after she successfully completed a best practice course.
Physiotherapy support worker Sue Kydd (second from right) with other support workers who have completed the best practice in dementia care course
Sue Kydd, who works for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, told Frontline that the NHS should be putting more resources into dementia education and providing both qualified and support staff with more access to training.
She said: ‘These learning opportunities are so important, especially as there will be a continuing increase of dementia patients coming through the NHS system.’
Mrs Kydd, who is based on an elderly rehabilitation ward at Vale of Leven Hospital, recently completed a best practice in dementia care for healthcare assistants course.
The six-month course consisted of 12 sessions and was organised by the Dementia Services Development Centre, part of the University of Stirling. The training programme was coordinated and delivered in the workplace by allied health profession (AHP) facilitators.
‘The course provided a fabulous opportunity to learn more about each unique person with dementia,’ said Mrs Kydd.
‘It revitalised skills we already had, but perhaps didn't feel confident about, allowed us to learn from each other’s experiences and gave us time to reflect on our own practice and behaviour.
‘The holistic approach has aided my practice with all the people I assist, and given me a much greater awareness of carer stress and distress.’
Ms Kydd was among the second cohort of support workers from NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s AHP acute services to complete the course. Jennifer Taggart is an advanced practitioner occupational therapist at the board and a ‘dementia champion’. She said an evaluation of findings from both cohorts showed positive results.
‘The AHP acute services now have a group of 14 occupational therapy and physiotherapy support staff who have increased confidence and the ability to reflect and change practice to better meet needs of the people with dementia in hospital,’ said Mrs Taggart.
‘And Sue's motivation to learn, improve her own practice and to share her learning and skills in relation to dementia care is a prime example of the positive results of rolling out the programme.’
The university’s Best Practice training in dementia care programme was developed to help organisations achieve the care standards outlined by the national dementia strategies for England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.