Cumbria is a great example of what happens when one organisation takes a truly integrated approach to design, education and learning around dementia.
Cumbria County Council approached DSDC in December 2011 to discuss how best to approach training and dementia across the whole remit of the council – part of an investment strategy in dementia which also included other partners. Cumbria was looking for training which would create a sustainable impact on local services for people with dementia and act as a driver for change.
“DSDC provided a complete package on design and education. They supported us in thinking through what we needed and then pulled it all together. The impact on our staff and services justified every penny.”
Donna Story, Development Manager at Cumbria County Counci
What DSDC did
Over the next two years DSDC delivered
Facilitator training which cascaded dementia knowledge and know-how into different care and service settings over a two year period in the council
Training including three one day courses on “Introduction to Dementia Design” paced over six months for in-house staff
Publications buying extra copies of DSDC books on Interiors and Gardens for staff not able to attend the training
individuals from the council began Advanced Study at the University of Stirling
By using the Best Practice programme as a foundation for a county-wide approach Cumbria provided fresh credibility to paper commitments on improving dementia services and practice.
By investing at the same time in bespoke design training and supporting information, Cumbria equipped key people across the county with the practical tools and development of expertise they needed to make a difference.
Given the different areas from which staff were drawn this approach also created new networks of expertise as a foundation for future sustainable change.
This integrated approach has proven both cost effective and high-impact change.