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What Works in Dementia Training and Education?

The aim of this study is to find out what factors contribute towards an effective training and education programme for health and social care staff.

Why are we doing this study?

Effective dementia training can improve staff knowledge, attitude and confidence and have a positive impact on those they provide care for.

It is a current government priority that all health and social care staff have the right knowledge and skills to deliver good dementia care.

Health Education England is keen to ensure all staff has the necessary training to deliver care for people living with dementia and want to find out what constitutes as good dementia education and training. 

What we will be doing

The study comprises of three interlinked work packages:

Work package 1 (led by Professor Claire Surr) will involve carrying out a structured review of all the evidence to get a clear picture of the ingredients needed for effective dementia training.

Work package 2 (led by Dr Sarah Smith and Dr Sahdia Parveen) will involve two national surveys. Survey 1 will aim to find out what training is currently being provided and implemented by care organisations. Survey 2 will explore how useful staff found the training and the impact of training on staff knowledge, attitudes and confidence in providing care for people living with dementia.

Work package 3 (Led by Professor Jan Oyebode) will focus on 12 organisations to look at in more detail. They will be selected because their approach to training seems to be particularly effective. We will collect data about their training models, staff knowledge and skills about dementia care and the experiences of people with dementia and their families using the service. This will indicate what works and will help share good practice.

Study Team

  • Professor Claire Surr (Chief Investigator, work package lead, Leeds Beckett University)
  • Professor Jan Oyebode (Work package lead, University of Bradford)
  • Dr Sarah Smith (Work package lead, University of Bradford)
  • Dr Sahdia Parveen (Work package lead, University of Bradford)
  • Dr Andrea Capstick (expert by experience involvement lead, University of Bradford)
  • Alison Dennison (Expert by experience member, University of Bradford)
  • David Meads (Health Economist, University of Leeds)
  • Donna Irving (Health Studies Librarian, University of Bradford)
  • Cara Gates (Research Assistant, Leeds Beckett University)

Time Scale

The study began in April 2015 and will be completed by July 2017.


This is independent research commissioned and funded by the Department of Health Policy Research Programme. 

(Understanding Effective Dementia Workforce Education and Training: A Formative Evaluation (DeWET Evaluation), PR-R10-0514-12006).The views expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the Department of Health.

About the Policy Research Programme

The Department of Health’s Policy Research Programme (PRP) commissions, funds and manages leading edge research that is focused on the needs of Ministers and policymakers for evidence to inform policy. PRP provides timely evidence for current policy needs and builds the evidence-base for future policy-making.