Museums are dementia experts

Article Featured Image
Health care professionals and person living with dementia using My House of Memories app House of Memories © Robin Clewley September 2016 marks World Alzheimer’s Month, an international campaign to raise awareness of dementia and challenge stigma. Here in the UK, National Museums Liverpool has trained more than 10,000 carers across England, through its House of Memories dementia awareness training programme. We’re proud to share that House of Memories has become the first to pilot a ‘Tier 2’ dementia training programme within health and social care settings across the North West of England. This latest development represents an exciting step for museums and cultural organisations working closely with the health and social care sector, to help people live well with dementia. Commissioned by Health Education England working across the North West, House of Memories has successfully worked with four health and social care partners in the region to develop resources for delivering and cascading Tier 2 dementia skills. Tier 2 is aimed at those regularly working with people living with dementia. National Museums Liverpool commissioned the Institute of Cultural Capital to evaluate the Train the Trainer programme. This recently-published report details the achievements of the museums-led Train the Trainer programme, which focused on a person-centred approach to provide health and social care professionals with practical tools, techniques and learning outcomes to enable them to confidently engage, support and communicate effectively with people living with dementia.
Macaila Finch, Programme Manager - Education Commissioning, Health Education England, working across the North West, said: “I was introduced to the work of National Museums Liverpool in 2012 and was struck by how emotive and empathetic their approach was, placing the person living with dementia at the heart of their training, and acknowledging that an individual’s personal history and memory is of huge value and significance. “It might be considered an unusual step to bring in a museum service to provide training on a health matter to those already working in medical-orientated backgrounds. However, the success of this pilot has demonstrated that the House of Memories training is universal and has been extremely effective in allowing those attending the programme to look at dementia from a different angle, and adapt their approach to supporting people living with dementia going forwards.”
The House of Memories team developed and piloted the programme between November 2015 and April 2016 in partnership with four regional delivery partners; Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, and PSS (Person Shaped Support), Liverpool. The evaluation report demonstrates positive outcomes and strategic strengths in the delivery of the training for person-centred dementia care, and identifies a social return on investment (SROI) of £1 : £19.06, reflecting the impact of the training on dementia awareness, standards of care and personal and professional development of the health and social care sector training participants. After attending the training, 97% of participants indicated they understood the principles of person-centred care and 100% of participants reported they understood what living well with dementia is, and the importance and value of promoting independence.
Carol Rogers, Executive Director of Education and Visitors at National Museums Liverpool, said: “The new House of Memories Tier 2 training programme is the next exciting step in our journey. We are most grateful to our partners who offered valuable guidance and support. Our aim is to cascade the House of Memories Tier 2 across the UK to ensure that National Museums Liverpool continues to deliver innovative and museum-led training and resources for health and social care professionals.”
The finalised Train the Trainer licensed model will be available for roll out in 2017/18. Find out more about the House of Memories programme on our website where you can also download our My House of Memories app designed by and for people living with dementia.