Smythe, Analisa (2011)
M.Phil. thesis, University of Birmingham.
This research was carried out within a large Mental Health Trust in collaboration with a local university. The focus was established by the West Midlands Strategic Health Authority who agreed to pay the Trust to undertake an evaluative project to establish:
1) Training competencies required to deliver dementia care in line with current NHS dementia care policy and;
2) To gather evidence on staff views of learning and skill development in order to give recommendations on the delivery of training.
To achieve the primary aim a systematic review of the literature was undertaken, interviews were conducted with 30 key clinical leads and a short qualitative semi-structured survey was also conducted with a range of staff (n=26) from across the service. In order to achieve the second aim a methodological approach based on phenomenology was used in order to explore the experiences of staff and caregivers, involving 14 focus groups with 70 participants in total.
The findings showed that staff perceived a wide range of competencies to be required for a specialist service. These were divided into those necessary for three specific levels of practice: Generic, Specialist and Advanced. A competency framework was generated which combines recommendations from existing competency frameworks with responses from the study samples. The project also provides a view of staff’s training requirements and evidenced recommendations for training and education.
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