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Innovative dementia training from RCH Care Homes

by Lisa Carr

Leading dementia expert Paul Smith has been appointed as new Head of Dementia Care and Development at RCH Care Homes and will be delivering innovative dementia training as part of the group’s ‘By Your Side’ strategy.

RCH Care Homes’ Dementia Strategy  ‘By Your Side’ is comprised of four key pillars: delivering specialist training, the dining experience and nutrition/hydration, creating a dementia friendly environment, and social engagement.

To ensure their approach to dementia care is underpinned by evidence-based knowledge and research the Group partnered with the Association for Dementia Studies (ADS) based at the University of Worcester, a national and international centre of excellence.

Since its launch, the ‘By Your Side’ strategy has empowered and enabled the services and their teams to deliver consistently high-quality dementia care to all their residents living with dementia. The appointment of Paul Smith, renowned leading dementia expert, as their Head of Dementia Care and Development further highlights the Group’s commitment to providing excellent dementia care.

Currently sitting on the steering panel of the Older People’s Forum of the Royal College of Nursing and an Alumnus Research Fellow of Green Templeton College, University of Oxford, Paul is a nurse, psychotherapist, author and a researcher who has led on dementia for some of the country’s largest and most successful care groups. 

On his appointment Paul said, “I’m looking forward to bringing passion and years of experience to the group at a time when everyone is committed to the same goal. There is a real avalanche of dedication, commitment and new talent at all levels within the organisation and I’m looking forward to our journey together”.

Under Paul’s tutelage, the four pillars of the strategy will be underpinned by a series of demanding standards mapped to the requirements set out by regulators and designed to both meet and then exceed the expectation of those who live with, work with and trust RCH with their loved ones. It will also encompass learning and development at all levels and for all departments, supervision and mentorship to embed core skills and attitudes.

As part of the Group’s pledge and commitment to excellence in Dementia Care, there will be a development of Dementia Ambassadors within each of the Dementia, Nursing and Residential Care Homes, with an emphasis on a biopsychosocial approach to holistic care and the marrying of person-centred practices with down to earth practical care skills.  

As part of World Alzheimer’s Day on Monday 21st September, Paul will be leading a Virtual Seminar on Understanding Dementia from one of RCH’s dementia centres for excellence, Brentwood Care Centre.

Following the seminar, Paul will be taking and answering live questions. Those attending will also be sent an Understanding Dementia Guide, which partners the seminar.  You can register here for the opportunity to join the seminar.

Another exciting element to support World Alzheimer’s Day is the virtual Dementia Friends session (hosted by Brentwood Care Centre’s Dementia Champion and Customer Relations Manager Sommer Turner) to help connect members of the local Brentwood community, residents’ families and staff.

The awareness and information day is the first of a number of dementia focused projects, initiatives, re-designs and training/awareness seminars which will be run by RCH as part of their dedication to being the leading social care provider of outstanding dementia care.

On this innovative training initiative, Paul said,  “RCH are committing to raising the bar and rolling out an evolution to the provision of care to those living with a dementia or a related condition across their entire portfolio. I am excited and honoured to be leading this evolution, and to build the foundations by which the group will deliver their ‘By Your Side’ strategy.”

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