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Developing Dementia Education and Training

Developing Dementia Education and Training

Discover how taking a simulation approach can help researchers develop new ways to support people with dementia.

The quality of care provided to people with dementia is a global concern. To improve the delivery of care for people with dementia there is need for appropriate and effective training for all health and social care staff, a recommendation outlined in government policy.

Dementia Education And Learning Through Simulation 2 (DEALTS 2) programme

Researchers at Bournemouth University were commissioned by Health Education England (HEE) to develop the ‘Dementia Education And Learning Through Simulation 2’ (DEALTS 2) programme. The simulation approach enables staff to consider experiences from the point of view of a person living with dementia. Using an experiential learning approach to place staff into the ‘shoes of a person with dementia’ supports knowledge and understanding of how this condition impacts on the person. The team hypothesize that this will enable staff to make positive changes to how they care and support people with dementia, and are continuing to evaluate the impact of the DEALTS 2 programme on practice to measure whether this happens.

Implementation and evaluation

DEALTS 2 has been delivered as a train-the-trainer model across England in 2017 to 196 trainers from 13 HEE Local Education Boards.

The team are evaluating the impact of DEALTS 2 on practice using a mixed methods approach underpinned by Kirkpatrick Model for evaluating effectiveness of training over two phases. In phase 1 pre and post workshop evaluation forms provide initial evaluation; whilst in phase 2 trainer and staff perspectives are being captured through questionnaires and interviews to determine the impact on practice.


The DEALTS 2 resources are available to download for free from the HEE website.

These resources are designed to be used by experienced trainers, and include a train the trainer element to support sustainability of learning within organisations. The resources, including Powerpoint slides and a resource pack, can be adapted to be relevant in different settings, and have been designed using low key simulation scenarios, with the opportunity to be adjusted to suit the level of resources available.

The programme is underpinned by the Humanising Values Framework (HVF) a philosophical lens originally developed at BU that identifies potentially humanising and dehumanising elements of care and support. The HVF promotes humanised approaches to working to support staff morale, as well as improve the care of people with dementia. The aim is to see the person and not the diagnosis.

These resources address three of the 14 learning outcomes for tier 2 training including risk reduction and prevention, person-centred care and communication as outlined in the Dementia Core Skills Education and Training Framework. Please note in 2018 this Framework was reviewed and updated (after the DEALTS 2 resources were published in 2017) to include a number of additions regarding food, drink and oral health and is now the Dementia Training Standards Framework.

The resource package has been quality assured using the hallmarks of good dementia training identified by the ‘What Works’ research study led by Leeds Beckett University.

This work builds on the original Dementia Education And Learning Through Simulation (DEALTS) programme developed by HEE in 2013/14.