1 March 2019

The Dementia 2020 Challenge – how Acacia Training is improving dementia training and care in the UK

The Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia 2020 was established in 2015 and aims for England to become the best country for dementia care and support by 2020.

The challenge also wants the UK to be the best country in the world for people with dementia, their carers and families to live and the best place to undertake research into dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases.

The Dementia Diagnosis Rate is now above the challenge’s target of 66.7%. There are now 2.78million Dementia Friends and 412 communities have committed to becoming Dementia Friendly in England and Wales (as of January 2019), and over one million NHS staff have attended dementia awareness-raising sessions.


How is Acacia Training supporting the Dementia 2020 Challenge?


Acacia Training wants to support the following aim from the Dementia 2020 Challenge: “By 2020, delivering an additional 3million Dementia Friends in England, with England leading the way in turning Dementia Friends into a global movement including sharing its learning across the world and learning from others.”

Acacia Training has signed up to the Dementia Friends network through the Alzheimer’s Society and is awaiting approval. A Dementia Friend is someone who learns about dementia so they can help their community by raising awareness and understanding of dementia.

We are working towards becoming dementia friendly through our Dementia Awareness short course training, and one of our trainers is going to become a Dementia Friend to pass on information and knowledge to carers who support individuals with dementia.


We’re leading the way in training Dementia Friends


Last year, 85% of the learners who enrolled in dementia training achieved their dementia qualification – this means another 107 Dementia Friends out in workplaces doing fantastic work. A number of these have progressed further onto apprenticeships and diplomas to continue their studies. This year we aim to double that number.

Acacia Training has, and continues to, deliver accredited dementia-specific qualifications that are aimed at those within care settings who wish to become Dementia Friends in the workplace. The role of the Dementia Friend is to engage the setting’s workforce and support them to deliver high quality care for individuals with a dementia condition, as well as support their families.

In addition, we have delivered Mental Health First Aid to over 100 people and these individuals have become Mental Health First Aiders, approved by Mental Health England. Although dementia may not be considered a mental health condition, the support that individuals need aligns with what a MHFA is there to do, which is to support individuals at times of urgent distress. The feedback from our course has been amazing.

Across the entirety of our provision we work with around 300+ employers, and 2,500 individuals.


How is Acacia Training helping to support the training objectives of the Dementia 2020 Challenge?


There are three tiers to dementia training: Tier 1 is dementia awareness training for those working in health and social care; Tier 2 is for people working in social care who are providing personalised direct care and support to people with dementia; Tier 3 is for the training of key staff to become experts working with people living with dementia and aims to support staff to play leadership roles. This last tier is split between registered managers and social care practice leaders.

According to a review of the Dementia 2020 Challenge, published in February 2019, 98% of training programmes included Tier 1 training, and 85% of homecare and residential staff who regularly work with people with dementia had competed Tier 1 training. However, only around 50% of the direct social care workforce have received Tier 2 training and it was predicted that by 2020 targets would not be met for this level of training.

The report called for: “Continued focus to achieve the commitment, and additional support such as ring-fenced time, additional resource, and mandated training.” Some respondents said Tier 2 should be a baseline minimum training requirement for all staff that care for people with dementia.

Acacia Training is helping staff to progress to Tier 2 with our dementia bundle courses and encouraging employers to support this to ensure competency in their settings. Our short course ‘Dementia Awareness’ is in line with the dementia training standards framework for Tier 1 and Tier 2. We also support employers to achieve the competency part of the Dementia Training Framework.


What dementia-specific courses does Acacia Training offer?


You can access dementia training through Skills Support for the Workforce (SSW), a programme developed to upskill employees within small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). We provide recognised accredited qualifications and bespoke training courses to enhance your employees’ skills, increase the competitiveness of your business and boost the local economy. Acacia Training is part of Serco’s network of expert organisations chosen to deliver the SSW programme in your area in partnership with Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEP). Because SSW is co-financed by the European Social Fund (ESF) and the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), we can support your workforce at no extra cost to your business.

We have progression routes within the European Social Fund, so learners can do three fully-funded units on dementia awareness. These three dementia training units can be also be accessed by paying privately, at about £100 per unit.

The following units are available for study on the subject of dementia care:

  • Understand the Administration of Medication to Individuals with Dementia using a Person-Centred Approach
  • Understand and Enable Interaction and Communication with Individuals with Dementia
  • Enable Rights and Choices of Individuals with Dementia whilst Minimising Risk

The units are part of Acacia Training’s range of health and social care unit bundles which specialise in certain areas. For example, dementia care units would allow for some learners to become Dementia Friends in their workplace.

The courses are eligible for European Social Fund grants. For more information about these bundles, please email sales@acaciatraining.co.uk  or click here. 


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