The role, remit and training needs of Dementia Champions : Results from an online survey
Background: Dementia Champions play a critical role in implementing the goals of the National Dementia Strategy. Whilst there is no common definition of what a Dementia Champion is, their role is often to act as change agents in improving the experience, care, treatment and outcomes for people with dementia, their families and carers. This can be in general hospitals, community and long term care settings and at the interface between hospital and community services. Professionals and clinicians across Health and Social Care have taken up the role of Dementia Champion in addition to their existing responsibilities. Aim: The first part of the Project was completed in 2014. In its second phase the Project focused on exploring how Dementia Champions perceived their role, its remit, and which training they thought they would need in order to meet the needs of people living with dementia and to co-ordinate their care in various clinical contexts. Methods: An online survey was conducted. Findings: Most perceived dementia awareness training as useful, but limited. Areas for further development were context specific skills training, education programmes that were formally recognised, and clarification around the expectations of the role. Conclusion: Expectations of ‘champion roles’ in dementia need to be re-visited, specifically in relation to the remit of the role and the level of education, preparation and support required for DCs to become change agents in dementia care.