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Hospice-led dementia training initiative wins national award

24 November 2015
  • Cheryl Baker, host of the National Dementia Care Awards, Siobhan Horton and Sian Harrison with Hilary Woodhead and Emma Hewat from Support in Dementia (sponsors of the Training Initiative award)

Siobhan Horton, St Luke's (Cheshire) Hospice director of strategy and engagement and innovation lead for the End of Life Partnership, was presented with the Best Dementia Training Initiative award at the 6th National Dementia Care Awards earlier this month.

The award, presented on 13 November at a glittering awards ceremony, recognises Siobhan's work in developing a multi-disciplinary practice development team to improve end of life care for local people with dementia.

Identifying an unmet need, Siobhan brought together St Luke’s Hospice, East Cheshire Hospice and Dementia UK to develop and fund a new Dementia End of Life Practice Development Team.

The team works across health and social care, in the community, care homes and hospitals, to promote a palliative care approach for people with dementia; taking the holistic approach hospices offer out into the community.

Siobhan has linked the team to the local End of Life Partnership to ensure that it continues to grow and develop collaboratively with other services.

The judges were impressed with Siobhan's commitment to educating professionals caring for people with dementia at the end of life, and commented that her strategic approach to knowledge and skill development across disciplines was "inspirational".

Siobhan and the Dementia End of Life Practice Development Team were also shortlisted for the Dementia Innovation Award category.

Siobhan said: "I believe hospices’ and palliative care approaches have a huge contribution to make to enabling and empowering planned and compassionate palliative and end of life care for dementia care.

"As hospices, we need confident new ways of working and to develop entrepreneurial approaches together with colleagues from across social and healthcare settings; ways of working that attend to the scale of need in a population that are living with and dying of dementia, and that enable good care which is not as resource heavy as some of our current ways of working. Our communities need us to be part of solutions to the complex care issues of current times.

"The approach we have undertaken over past ten years or so involves many organisations – East Cheshire Hospice and St Luke’s, Dementia UK, local commissioners, the End of Life Partnership and local mental health trusts – a genuine building of long-term relationships of trust that has led to the wonderful new team come into being."

Sian Harrison, team leader for the practice development team, added: "I am overjoyed for Siobhan and my team. It means a great deal to us that we have been recognised by the judges as having a great contribution to dementia care at end of life."

The National Dementia Care Awards is an annual event organised by The Journal of Dementia Care to recognise the very best in dementia care.

Find out more about the Dementia End of Life Practice Development Team in an article published by ehospice earlier this year, written by Siobhan and Sian.

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