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NHS Education for Scotland

A skilled and sustainable workforce for a healthier Scotland

143 more staff graduate from specialist dementia training programmes

143 more staff graduate from specialist dementia training programmes

143 more staff graduate from specialist dementia training programmes

Media Release from NHS Education for Scotland, Alzheimer Scotland, Scottish Social Services Council, Scottish Government

National Conference and Graduation

Another 98 Dementia Champions and 45 Dementia Specialist Improvement Leads (DSIL) will graduate today from specialist dementia training programmes aimed at improving the care and support for people living with dementia in Scottish hospitals, care homes and community settings. 38 organisations are represented among the graduates, including 14 health boards and 21 social services organisations.

Scotland’s 3rd Dementia Strategy focuses on driving better care and treatment for people living with dementia. As part of its wider workforce development programme NES has supported improvements in dementia care in hospitals, specialist mental health settings and a range of social care settings. This has included developing learning resources to support implementation of the Promoting Excellence Framework, delivering training programmes and working with partners to support improvements.

The conference will showcase and celebrate innovative improvement work led by dementia champions, DSILs, Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Nurse Consultants and previous graduates to enhance the care of people living with dementia and their families and carers.

Clare Haughey, MSP and Minister for Mental Health, Scottish Government said:

“Congratulations to all the dementia champions and improvement leads who graduated today. All participants have shown great skill and commitment - and play a vital role in continuing to improve the quality of care for people with dementia across acute and specialist care settings.

“The Scottish Government’s continued national commitment to dementia workforce development is a key part of our national dementia policy – and, as set out in Programme for Government, we are committed to consulting on and developing a fourth National Dementia Strategy in 2020.”

David Garbutt, Chair, NHS Education for Scotland added:

“I commend the commitment and hard work of the graduates to improve the care and support for people living with dementia. It’s a fantastic achievement. We’re proud to celebrate with them today. “

Henry Simmons, Chief Executive, Alzheimer Scotland said:

“Alzheimer Scotland is extremely privileged and proud to have been associated with the Dementia Champions programme since its earliest days. This project is an excellent example of our partnership working with NHS Education for Scotland, the Scottish Social Services Council, the University of the West of Scotland (UWS) and the Scottish Government, which has continued to have an important and profound impact on standards of healthcare for people with dementia in acute hospitals and many other healthcare settings.

“Today we congratulate and welcome the tenth cohort of Dementia Champions graduates who contribute significantly to ensuring people with dementia are well supported across Scotland. Additionally,it is wonderful to see a third cohort of Dementia Specialist Improvement Leads graduating. This programme which has focused on developing leadership and improvement in one of the most specialised area of practice within our health and social care system has already proven to be invaluable and transformational. The work of those graduating today is extremely inspiring and their dedication to improving the care and support for people with dementia is exemplary.”

Sandra Campbell, Convener, Scottish Social Services Council added:

“It’s great to see everyone here today celebrating their hard work and achievements. The commitment of those working in social services and health care makes a real difference to the lives of people living with dementia and their families.”

In the last ten years 1,048people working in acute general and community hospitals and health and social services have completed the Dementia Champions programme. It has prepared them to:

  • lead front line improvements in dementia care
  • sustain change in their area
  • cascade information and education about dementia to other staff

The DSIL programme has trained 121 participants since 2014. It supports the implementation of the Promoting Excellence education framework and the Standards of Care for Dementia in Scotland. It includes several ‘training for trainers’ programmes, covering:

  • change management and quality improvement
  • training and facilitation skills
  • stress and distress in dementia
  • meeting the complex physical health care needs of people with dementia
  • palliative and end of life care in dementia
  • pharmacological care in dementia




Reference: PR2020-001

Further Information From

Mary-Jo O’Brien, Communications Manager, NHS Education for Scotland, email

Lorraine Wakefield, Communications Manager, Scottish Social Services Council, email

Elaine Nixon, PR Manager, Alzheimer Scotland, email

Fiona Pringle, Communications, Scottish Government, email

Note to Editors
NHS Education for Scotland (NES) is a national health board working to support a skilled and sustainable workforce. NES provides education, training and workforce development for those who work in and with NHSScotland. Our analysis, planning and digital platforms support staff through their careers.We also promote NHS careers in general and support the recruitment of professionals into Scotland.At any time NES is responsible for over 6,500 trainee healthcare professionals.


National Conference and Graduation event programme

Promoting Excellence: A knowledge and skills framework for health and social care staff who work with people with Dementia, their families and carers.

Standards of Care for Dementia in Scotland: Action to support the change programme, Scotland’s National Dementia Strategy

March, 10 2020