Dementia Champions from Scotland’s social service workforce graduate

Eighteen Dementia Champions from social service settings received their graduation certificates from the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) Convenor Professor James McGoldrick.

This year’s graduates will join a network of 400 Dementia Champions in Scotland who are driving forward positive changes to care, treatment and support in Scotland’s hospitals and at the interface between hospital and community settings.

The Promoting Excellence National Conference and Graduation Event for Dementia Champions took place yesterday at Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh. Promoting Excellence is a joint programme of work by the SSSC and NHS Education for Scotland (NES) to bring about the workforce learning and education actions within Scotland’s National Dementia Strategies.

Professor McGoldrick said: “It was a pleasure to present certificates yesterday. I admire the dedication shown by all Dementia Champions, who have gone the extra mile to enhance their knowledge and skills. They will play an important role in improving the care experience for people with dementia, their families and carers in Scotland’s hospitals and at home in their communities. Promoting Excellence is a key area of work for us and we look forward to continuing to support the workforce to realise its aspirations in partnership with NHS Education for Scotland.”

Anna Fowlie, SSSC Chief Executive said: “Congratulations to all Dementia Champions who graduated yesterday. There are now more than 50 Dementia Champions from social service settings who will continue to actively promote good quality care, treatment and support for people with dementia who are admitted to, or who are at risk of being admitted to Scotland’s general hospitals. Working together with colleagues in health, social service Dementia Champions can greatly improve the care journey for people with dementia, their families and carers.
“This year, there are also Dementia Champions in learning and development roles. The SSSC welcomes this and as they will be able to cascade some of their new learning into their work settings.”

After receiving his award, Barrie Wilson from Angus Council’s Workforce Development team said: “Being a Dementia Champion will help me support our staff and colleagues in NHS to give people living with dementia in Angus the best quality of life. The course has enhanced my knowledge and made me more aware of the different perspectives that surround dementia.”

New Dementia Champion Sylvia Rossi, a social worker with East Dumbarton Council commented: “It is important that professionals within social work are now being represented on the National Dementia Programme. This award has and will continue to raise the profile of people with dementia and the need to continue to place people with dementia at the centre of provision.”

The event, co-hosted by the SSSC, NES, the Scottish Government and Alzheimer Scotland, was attended by Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing, Alex Neil MSP who delivered the keynote address. A poster display and concurrent sessions with an educational theme ran throughout the day to showcase and celebrate work carried out over the past year.