A FRAMEWORK OF OUTSTANDING DEMENTIA CARE
member of the OSJCT team, up to the highest levels of expertise dependent on role.
Our Admiral Nurses are some of the employees who are trained to the highest level. We developed our Admiral Nursing Service in collaboration with the charity Dementia UK. Admiral Nurses are Registered Nurses that specialise in dementia care, giving expert practical, clinical and emotional help to OSJCT employees, and families and carers supporting those living with dementia.
The Orders of St John Care Trust (OSJCT) has provided care to the community for 25 years, underpinned by the belief that every resident living in our homes should be supported in a way that meets their individual needs. We now provide this for more than 3,500 residents in 72 care homes, as well as our domiciliary service in 16 extra care housing schemes, across Lincolnshire, Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire.
The large and growing number of people living with dementia in the UK is a concern for everyone working in the care sector. With an estimated 70% of people in care homes living with dementia or severe memory problems, and over 1 million people expected to have dementia by 2025, our specialist care for this group is ever more important.
To ensure we continue to provide high-quality, person-centred care to all our residents, and consolidate our expertise in this area, we recently launched a Dementia Care Framework. This is designed to equip all our employees with the knowledge and support they need to provide outstanding care to residents living with dementia, as well as their families and helpers. It reflects our aim to be the leading care provider, at the forefront of best practice and innovation, meeting one of the largest growing needs among our residents and the population as a whole.
Creating a Framework of expertise
When it came to creating a Framework that set forth our vision for the best possible care for people living with dementia, we knew we had to draw on exemplary sources of expertise. This started with our employees and volunteers. They are on the frontline of dementia care, which gives them invaluable experience and insight. We also worked with partners, for example making links with wider Dementia UK work programmes, and drawing on existing competency frameworks and standards, and models of dementia care such as the National Dementia Declaration and the NICE Dementia Quality Standards.
Consulting with residents, their families and friends, people living with dementia and their carers who attend our Memory Café was a vital part of the process, to make sure the Framework took into account their specific needs. Indeed, the core principles and values of the Framework are underpinned by these views.
The Framework incorporates the recognised pathway of dementia progression, taking into account the differing needs of a person living with dementia, their family and carers. These four stages of the ‘dementia journey’ are:
- Keeping well, prevention, and a dementia diagnosis
- Living well
- Living well with increasing help and support
- End of life and dying well
Inside the Framework
The fundamental principle of the Dementia Care Framework is to equip all colleagues with a good understanding of what it’s like to live with dementia. It details the knowledge and skills colleagues of different levels of expertise and in different roles should achieve when supporting people living with dementia, and their families.
Reflecting OSJCT’s commitment to providing on-going training for employees, the learning and development programme outlined in the Framework is an incremental pathway. Colleagues build on knowledge and skills, attitudes and behaviours, starting with the baseline knowledge and skills required by every
As well as those Admiral Nurses supporting people in care homes, we also have two nurses who work in the community alongside people living with dementia, and their families: giving them one-to-one support, expert guidance and practical solutions. Our dementia cafés also give carers access to advice and support in the community, and carers tell us that with our support they can face challenges with more confidence and less fear, in particular the tricky transition from home to care home.
A culture of inclusion is key
One of the aspirations set out in the Dementia Care Framework has already been achieved. We now have four people in the role of Head of Dementia Care in our specialist dementia care homes, who are focused on building the capability of employees to respond to residents and their families. They help create a culture of inclusion, where social and occupational activities are designed to enhance, stimulate, and maintain the highest quality of life and enjoyment for residents.
Having our person-centred approach to care for people living with dementia enshrined in our Dementia Care Framework has enabled a cohesive and thoughtful approach to spread throughout our organisation. As we make sure our employees feel empowered to give people living with dementia the best possible care, we are enabling those residents and their families to maximise their rights, choices and health and wellbeing.
For more information about The Orders of St John Care Trust’s approach to care for people living with dementia go to www.osjct.co.uk/life-at-osjct/types-of-care/dementia/