[A version of this item appears in: Dementia: the Latest Evidence Newsletter (RWHT), Volume 2 Issue 2, September 2011].
NHS Education Scotland (NES) and Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) developed “Promoting Excellence: a framework for health and social services staff working with people with dementia, their families and carers” to support delivery of the requirements set out in Scotland’s National Dementia Strategy.
The Promoting Excellence framework clarifies the knowledge and skills which all health and social services staff should aspire to achieve in relation to their role(s) in supporting people diagnosed as having dementia, and their families and / or carers.
The structure of the framework is based upon the definition of “Levels of Knowledge and Skills”. Each level defines the knowledge, skills and behaviour intrinsic to the worker’s role in dementia care. These levels are said to be not so much “hierarchical” as reflecting the levels of responsibility in relation to working with people with dementia. Each level defines the expertise that workers must have.
- The “Dementia Informed Practice Level” specifies the baseline knowledge and skills required by all staff working in health and social care settings including a person’s own home.
- The “Dementia Skilled Practice Level” represents the knowledge and skills required by all staff that have direct and / or substantial contact with people with dementia and their families and carers.
- The “Enhanced Dementia Practice Level” involves the knowledge and skills required by health and social services staff that have more regular and intense contact with people with dementia, provide specific interventions, and / or direct or manage care and services.
- The “Expertise in Dementia Practice Level” outlines the knowledge and skills required for health and social care staff who by virtue of their role and practice setting, play an expert specialist role in the care, treatment and support of people with dementia.
The knowledge and skills specified at each level are constructed in an incremental i.e. “additive” way, whereby staff operating at the higher levels necessarily possess the knowledge and skills, attitudes and behaviours involved in all preceding levels of expertise. The framework incorporates quality of life (QoL) outcome indicators developed from a review of the literature.
Specific health and social services staff roles are not identified in relation to the framework. Individual staff members and their employers are expected to interpret and apply the Promoting Excellence framework. One wonders whether this flexible approach could introduce some degree of inconsistency and subjectivity into how the Promoting Excellence framework is applied and understood.
The contents of this report comprise the following sections:
- Background and purpose of the NHS Education Scotland (NES) and Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) Promoting Excellence framework.
- The evidence and principles underpinning the framework.
- How the framework should be used.
- The structure of the framework.
- The Dementia Informed Practice level.
- The Dementia Skilled Practice level.
- The Enhanced Dementia Practice level.
- The Expertise in Dementia Practice level.
- References and links to supporting resources.
Promoting excellence: a framework for all health and social services staff working with people with dementia, their families and carers. Edinburgh: The Scottish Government, 2011.