Admission to hospital has been found to have a negative impact on people with dementia. The Scottish Dementia Champions programme was developed to prepare health and social service Dementia Champions working in acute settings as Change Agents. The programme was initially delivered to a cohort of 100 health professionals via blended learning, and comprised five study days, a half day spent in a local community setting, and e-learning. In order to complete the programme and graduate, participants were required to complete and submit reports relating to three work-based activities.
The evaluation of the project adopted a two-pronged approach:
(1) Impact on programme participants was assessed by scores derived from the Approaches to Dementia Questionnaire (ADQ) (Lintern, 1996 completed at Study Days 1 and 5, and analysis of qualitative data derived from the three written assignments.
(2) Participants were asked to evaluate course materials and input for each of the five study days, as well as satisfaction with delivery.
Analysis of data derived from the ADQ and 100 reflective reports of the community experience indicate that participants’ perceptions of people with dementia shifted significantly during the Programme. Participants identified a range of issues which should be addressed with a view to improving the experiences of people with dementia in acute settings, and put in place actions to bring about change. The format of the programme provided a cost effective means to prepare NHS and Social Service Dementia Champions as Change Agents for practice within a relatively short period of time, and would be transferrable to other staff groups as well as different organisational structures in other countries.