Care Home Staff Not Receiving Adequate Training In Dementia, Research Finds

Care home staff are not being provided with the training they need to support adults with dementia, joint research by Community Care, the online magazine for social care, and UNISON has found.

The analysis of 300 inspection reports from the Care Quality Commission shows even specialist dementia care homes are failing to provide training on the condition to their staff.

Care workers are also missing out on vital training in the safeguarding of vulnerable adults and the legal requirements that aim to protect people who do not have the capacity to make decisions.

The analysis of 125 care homes rated ‘inadequate’, 125 ‘requires improvement’ and 50 ‘good’, found:

  • Training gaps were identified in 71% of homes told to improve by the CQC.
  • Dementia, safeguarding and the Mental Capacity Act were the topics that fared worst.
  • Almost half (49%) of the homes told to improve by the CQC were breaching regulations that require them to ensure a suitably trained and supported workforce.
  • Training gaps were found even in five homes rated as ‘good’. They were also in the three topics specified above, suggesting a widespread issue with training in these areas.

The research shows there is a direct link between poor care and poor training opportunities for staff.
More than a quarter of homes told to improve by the CQC had gaps in dementia training. In many cases, this lack of training had resulted in people with dementia being treated with no empathy or understanding of their care needs.

Heather Wakefield, head of local government at UNISON, said: “This research highlights the shocking lack of investment in our residential care system, leaving clients vulnerable to inadequate care as a result of insufficient funding to support required training, appropriate staffing levels and safeguarding mechanisms. The UK is one of the world’s richest countries and we can afford to treat our elderly citizens better than this.”

Community Care reporter, Rachel Carter, said: “Our investigation shows residential care workers are being let down time and again by a failure to invest in training, support and supervision and this has contributed to serious failings in care. These workers are caring for some of the most vulnerable individuals in our society and it is absolutely essential they receive adequate training. It is clear from the findings that cutting back on training is detrimental to workers and the people they care for.”