Perspectives: dementia education in Higher Education Institutions, now and in the future: the role of the professional regulatory bodies in the UK

Chris Knifton, Rhoda MacRae, Anna Jack-Waugh, Margaret Brown, Claire Surr, Rachel Thompson, Lesley Baillie

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Dementia is a global challenge and educating and upskilling the workforce is a policy imperative. A World Health Organisation priority area is the development of dementia knowledge and skills amongst health and social care professionals. The European Parliament has called for European countries to develop action plans and create common guidelines to provide education and training to professionals caring for people with dementia and their family caregivers. The inconsistencies and gaps in dementia education have been repeatedly highlighted internationally as well as in the United Kingdom (UK); this is despite the four home nations having voluntary frameworks and guidelines for dementia education.

This perspectives article on dementia education is written by representatives of the Higher Education Dementia Network (HEDN), a well-established group of academics involved in dementia education and research in over 65 Higher Education Institutions across the UK. HEDN works collaboratively with Dementia UK to promote consistent, high quality dementia education and share best practice. At HEDN we believe that reference to the knowledge and skills frameworks of the four nations within Professional Regulatory Body (PRB) requirements would ensure a more rigorous and consistent approach to dementia education across the UK. Reference to the Frameworks would support their adoption as a required and monitored sector minimum standard across professional boundaries. HEDN therefore recommends that application of the knowledge and skills within these frameworks becomes a requirement for (re)validation/approval of relevant health, social and housing professional programmes. In this article we explain the rationale behind the recommendations made by HEDN and the implications for PRBs and Higher Education Institutions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-278
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Research in Nursing
Issue number3-4
Early online date8 Jun 2019
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019


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