Care provider and registered charity, The Fremantle Trust, is supporting its employees to complete a BTEC Level 2 Award in Dementia Awareness, as a commitment to providing specialist, person-centred care.
The Trust’s dementia lead, Jill Conroy, who has 40 years of experience working in care – predominantly with people living with dementia – redesigned the existing course to ensure it is accessible and engaging and has seen significant take-up across the organisation’s homes in North London, Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Milton Keynes and Hertfordshire.
Structured to be completed within a four month period, the revised BTEC qualification in dementia features in the Skills for Care Best Practice Guide, recognising exemplary training and development in the sector. The course includes workshops addressing awareness; a person-centred approach to the care and support of individuals with dementia; factors that influence communication and interaction with adults with dementia and understanding equality, diversity and inclusion in dementia.
Staff in the Trust’s Development and Education Centre who act as assessors and internal verifiers have also completed the course and guide learners through the process.
With 42 employees currently undertaking the study, Jill hopes that a significant proportion of the care team at the Trust will go on to complete the qualification and enhance their learning.
Commenting on its relevance, Jill said: “Caring for people with dementia is a specialist area of work and, while there are e-learning modules out there in this subject, they don’t necessarily meet the needs of those who develop understanding through discussion and practice.
“The course is designed to be interactive and insightful, though not overwhelming or intimidating, as this can often be a barrier to take-up.”
Kelly-Anne Phillips of Fremantle Court, Stoke Mandeville, said: “I found this course very helpful, it made me understand more about dementia and change the way I work. It helped me to understand residents and find out more about their background.”
Dawn Portis-Goyen of Lewin House in Aylesbury said: “As I work on a dementia specialist unit, it has helped me to develop a better understanding, to take more time to sit and chat with residents and to do more person-centred activities.”