Education – Knowledge Development

Bespoke training for all staff at Nazareth House Care Village

In late 2012 Nazareth House Care Village, a single site care provider based in Northern Ireland approached DSDC for advice on making a step change in the way their staff met increasing challenges they were facing around people with dementia.

The Challenge

Nazareth House were looking for the most cost effective way of equipping all their 100 staff, from a wide range of backgrounds, with the core knowledge they needed, whether they were new starters or more established staff.


The Care Home Manager and two of Nazareth House’s key care staff came to a free one-day event in Belfast which DSDC was running as part of the government-backed programme of learning events on key dementia topics. From discussions on the day with one of DSDC’s Associates, Sean Hughes, a bespoke programme of half day sessions was designed, drawing on the existing programme “Understanding Behaviour in Dementia Care” which DSDC normally offers as a one-day event.

What DSDC Did

Each of the sessions were held at the Care Village itself allowing

  • staff to be freed up from their work,
  • costs to be kept as low as possible
  • everyone to relate the learning directly to where they worked.

Nazareth House was also clear that the half day sessions had to be held at different times to capture all staff. So sessions either started at in the morning and ran until early afternoon or started at lunchtime and went into the evening. To make sure all learning goals were met Sean used tried and tested learning material but also introduced new creative elements not in the full-day event. These activities, run as part of the breaks, allowed staff to put themselves in the shoes of people with dementia. Judging from the feedback, the whole event not just met learning expectations (100% reported) but was enormous fun.

In all 60 of the 100 staff took part in the first Programme which ran in March 2013. Real improvements were seen straight away in terms of the confidence shown by staff in interpreting and handling better the full range of behaviours which people with dementia were showing. There is no question that the experience of both staff and clients has changed as a result.


The bespoke programme delivered

  • Cost-effective learning for mixed staff groups
  • On –site flexible sessions at times which worked for the client
  • Creative, engaging activities
  • Bespoke training delivered to the highest standards within three months of original contact
  • Immediate results

"The way DSDC put everything together and made it work was fantastic. The training has quite simply transformed the way we think and work at Nazareth House. We have already scheduled more training so all our staff get the full value of what DSDC has to offer."
Siobhan Regan, Manager Nazareth Care