Dementia Workforce Excellence in Acute Care

Aiming to evaluate the effectiveness of dementia education and training among acute care practitioners and to promote a learning approach that facilitates person-centred dementia care.

It has become apparent in recent years that there is a dementia-specific knowledge and skills gap in the current healthcare workforce. This gap now needs to be plugged to improve patient experiences in hospital and the quality of dementia care in general, which has required employers to engage with provision of workplace learning opportunities. Whilst there are currently a large number of resources available for dementia training, most learning resources are geared towards episodic care rather than to prepare practitioners to care for people and their families at any stage of their dementia journey, particularly with dementia being a progressive illness.

This project aims to evaluate the effectiveness of dementia education and training among acute care practitioners. Dementia Education for Workforce Excellence (DEWE) is a comprehensive package developed during the pandemic for online learning using the 'Journey' approach to promote person-centred dementia care. This package is aligned with Scotland’s Promoting Excellence Framework for dementia workforce development. The study will involve using questionnaires to measure dementia knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviours and interviews to discuss practice-based scenarios. Five scenarios will be co designed with input from experts with lived experience of dementia / dementia care giving as informal carers; dementia nurse consultants from Scotland’s dementia consultants’ network who work across the fourteen Health Boards nationally. 

The 'Journey' approach to dementia training, using a combination of face to face / synchronous training along with interactive workbooks that support reflective learning asynchronously, helps participants to understand dementia as an illness of the brain and see the person behind the illness, facilitating a person-centred approach to dementia care. As such, there is potential for high impact from this proposed research particularly around policy for dementia workforce development in acute care settings within Scotland but also more widely since this is a global issue with dementia declared as a global public health priority.  


This project is strategically aligned to the Clinical Academic Partnership between Nursing Studies at Edinburgh and NHS Lothian where Dr Macaden has been appointed as an Honorary Consultant in Dementia Care in NHS Lothian.

Funded by NHS Lothian/University of Edinburgh Dementia Clinical Academic Research Careers (CARC) & Wellcome Trust Institutional Translational Partnership Award (WT iTPA).