Alzheimer's Society and Bupa launch Dementia Champions Programme

Published 16 September 2009

Alzheimer’s Society and Bupa have joined together to launch the first ever Dementia Champions programme in 130 Bupa care homes across the UK.

 The new programme aims to develop in-house leaders to champion good dementia care in their place of work and was successfully piloted in six Bupa care homes before the launch. By changing the culture of the workplace, the Dementia Champions programme aims to further improve quality of care and quality of life for people with dementia.  

The quality of care for people living in residential care can vary widely and depend on the culture and leadership within the environment. The Dementia Champions programme is aimed at key staff who will be encouraged to harness their own charisma and drive to challenge the whole organisation to deliver high-quality dementia care.

Neil Hunt, Chief Executive, Alzheimer's Society says, 

'Alzheimer's Society is delighted that Bupa Care Services will be rolling out the Dementia Champions programme across the UK. Delivering good dementia care is a skilled task and staff need access to continuous development. It is not enough simply to tick a box and say someone has been trained. The drive to improve care needs to be ongoing and the whole culture of the workplace needs to change. That's what Bupa and Alzheimer's Society are seeking to achieve with this programme.'

Graham Stokes, Head of Mental Health, Bupa Care Services says:

'Bupa is committed to providing highly-personalised care for people living with dementia.  We believe that specialist training of care home staff is a key factor in ensuring our residents enjoy the highest possible quality of life.

'The Dementia Champions programme aims to improve quality of care and quality of life for people living with dementia. As a healthcare leader, it's a goal we at Bupa share - and we hope that we can also set a new standard for the dementia care sector'.

There are 16 initial groups made up of approximately 180 staff from all Bupa's dementia specialist care homes.  Alzheimer's Society and Bupa hope that, ultimately, the programme can offer benefits in any setting where dementia care is delivered.

The pilot - conducted in Bupa care homes across the north of England - showed that if the right people are trained to be Dementia Champions and are supported by their organisation, there could be significant improvements in the lives and daily experiences of people with dementia in a care home.

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