HEDN calls for assurance of dementia education for all social healthcare and housing professionals

The Higher Education Dementia Network (HEDN) has called for dementia education for all social and health care professionals, in a position paper launched at the Dementia Congress on 7th November 2017.

The paper, aimed at the regulatory bodies overseeing health, social care and housing professionals, calls for education on dementia care, both pre- and post-qualification, for all professionals in these fields.

We have calculated that the estimate for the number of people with dementia in 2021 is now around 900,000. Two thirds of people with dementia live in the community, around one third in a care home, and approximately one quarter of acute hospital beds are occupied by people with dementia. Therefore care of people with dementia is relevant to the entire health, social care and housing system.

Professor Claire Surr, of Leeds Beckett University, said: “Professional bodies have a clear role to play in ensuring the health, social care and housing workforce are meeting the needs of those affected by dementia. We would like to see national knowledge and skills frameworks established as a required and monitored sector minimum standard. We recommend that application of the Frameworks become a requirement for (re)validation of health, social care and housing pre-qualifying education.”

A second position paper will be published in early 2018 on best practice methods for embedding dementia education within the curriculum, aimed both at professional regulatory bodies and Higher Education Institutions.

About the Higher Education Dementia Network

HEDN is a group of lecturers in UK Higher Education Institutions who teach, lecture, research and manage courses and programmes related to dementia care. The network currently has members from over 65 different institutions from across the UK.

For more information, please contact Rachel Thompson, Professional and Practice Lead at Dementia UK, at rachel.thompson@dementiauk.org

Download the position paper