Bupa Care Services is to recruit 150 “Dementia Ambassadors” – the largest number in Scotland – ensuring at least three will be located in each of its care homes across the country.
The pledge is part of Bupa’s commitment to provide expertly-trained staff who can deliver care and support to people living with dementia and their family members.
The Dementia Ambassadors programme is a key element of the Scottish Government’s Promoting Excellence programme: a skills and competencies framework for all health and social services staff working with people with dementia.
Since adopting the programme in June, Bupa has already helped more than 100 staff members to sign up to the scheme, but it has announced plans to bring that number of 150 – ensuring it will host the largest number of Dementia Ambassadors in Scotland.
To further support their development, Bupa staff involved in the Dementia Ambassadors programme will complete a three-day training course that has been developed in partnership with Bradford University’s world-renowned Dementia Group.
Bupa has integrated dementia care training as a cornerstone of its staff development programmes. All employees receive dementia awareness training and those working in specialist dementia centres undertake Bupa’s Essentials training before being encouraged to further develop their care skills through Bupa’s ‘Person First – dementia second’ programme and ultimately can apply to become a Dementia Scholar through studying for degrees and diploma courses at Bradford University.
Tom Bohlke, Bupa Dementia Lead in Scotland, said that with approximately 80% of Bupa care home residents estimated to be living with some form of dementia, it was important to recognise that skilled and competent carers are key to improving the quality of life of the individual and their families.
Tom said: “It’s very exciting that Bupa has broken new frontiers in the care sector with this commitment to bring together the largest number of Dementia Ambassadors in Scotland.
“This move will provide at least three Dementia Ambassadors for each of the Bupa care homes across Scotland.
“The role will provide support to the management and staff teams in our care homes, while establishing a focus in promoting good dementia care.
“It also ties in with Bupa’s ‘Person First – Dementia Second’ strategy, which aims to ensure that our care for people living with dementia is shaped by skilled and knowledgeable carers and nurses delivering compassionate person-centred care.
Tom added that Bupa identified that best progress and added-value could be made by merging its existing in-house training skills with those of the Promoting Excellence framework to meet its commitment towards the Scottish Dementia Strategy and the Standards of Care for Dementia in Scotland.