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Scotland's National Dementia Strategy: One Year On Report

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9. Additional Activity

Specialist Dementia Nurses and AHPs

9.1 In January 2011 the Scottish Government announced that it would provide one-off funding of £300,000 to support Alzheimer Scotland to build on their pilot of specialist dementia nurses in NHS Boards. Their role is to support significant changes and improvements in the standards of care which people with dementia and their families receive while in acute general hospital, through specialist advice on care delivery, information, training and support. Evaluation of existing posts has provided clear evidence of the benefits of these posts, with gains in the quality of care and the safety for people with dementia; and benefits in terms of physical healthcare needs whether in care homes, at home or in hospital.

9.2 This funding, alongside an equal amount of funding by Alzheimer Scotland, is facilitating seven new posts for a guaranteed two year period in NHS Boards across Scotland. Negotiations are currently taking place with all NHS Boards to prioritise bids. It is anticipated that the postholders will be in place by late summer 2011.

9.3 This initiative adds to a number of local initiatives, all of which are helping to build a body of expertise in the area of the care of people with dementia in acute general hospitals. In order to further develop the evidence base in this key area, as part of implementing Promoting Excellence the Scottish Government has provided funding to NHS Education for Scotland to establish a national development programme and learning network for these posts focussed on leadership and change agent development, action learning and impact evaluation against the post outcomes.

9.4 In addition, in 2010 the Scottish Government supported the appointment of the first AHP Consultants in Dementia Care in 3 NHS Boards. Their role is to support the strategy's two key improvement areas.