Quality care, quality life...

Delivery and support followed by observation of practice

Delivery and support followed by observation of practice

Victoria A Metcalfe, Dementia Consultant – Anchor, outlines an evaluation process which enhances outcomes for people receiving care services and develops the skills and knowledge of people delivering care services. It is a process that promotes a more positive living and working experience.

The Challenge

Victoria explains:


when we developed the Dementia Specialist Team one of my key aims was to ensure the training and support being offered made a positive difference to the people receiving care and support. I also wanted to help the people delivering care and support to understand the positive impact they could make to an individual with dementia and how important their role is to the individual, their family and the organisation."

What was the difference we made

Our approach has ensured that:

  • The person with dementia is at the heart of service design and learning programmes.
  • Our employees are more confident when delivering services.
  • Our employees have a better understanding of the person with dementia and are able to provide more personalised care.
  • Our employees know and understand how important their role is and report high levels of job satisfaction to us.

What we did

We designed a learning programme commencing with Introduction to dementia care with a comprehensive evaluation process which monitors service improvement across the care team. The evaluation is focused upon observations of practice and detailed feedback.

How we did it

Post training evaluation (first year)

Part of the delivery process of the Introduction to dementia care learning programme is an evaluative mechanism, this comprises of a 6 week, 3 month, 6 month and 12 month feedback request to managers. The purpose of this feedback is to make an assessment of the learning that has taken place since the employees attended the learning programme and received specialist support.

This provides an opportunity for care and business managers/contacts to record progress and to highlight any areas of learning, which may require additional information, support or development.

The feedback form also provides information about why learning and development is pivotal to best practice in dementia care and tips to ensure the momentum of learning is continued following the learning programme.

The manager/contact is requested to make a general comment and to provide specific evidence of the workers ability to transfer learning into practice. They are reminded of the learning outcomes of the learning programme and asked to provide a summary report about progress and learning in the workplace.

Learning in to practice evaluation

The purpose of this evaluation is to assess if the learning outcomes are being directly applied in the workplace environment.

The evaluation is conducted by the dementia specialist and its conclusions are recorded in a detailed report with an action plan to assist further development as appropriate.

Mini dementia mapping tool

This is an observation tool developed by Anchor and based upon the Dementia Care Mapping system which has been designed and developed to evaluate the well-being of people with dementia. The tool is designed to help the worker to understand the experiences of people with dementia, who are unable to provide feedback due to cognitive or communication impairment. The observation is carried out by a dementia specialist who has been trained in dementia care mapping. This person has the skills to apply the knowledge gathered through observations to make an assessment of well-being and provide detailed feedback with actions to enhance a person’s well-being.

Observation and feedback by the dementia specialist manager (now dementia consultant)

The purpose of observation and feedback is to ensure quality and consistency of delivery of learning, support and advice. To ensure data is gathered effectively a learning observation assessment tool has been developed. Each dementia specialist is observed delivering learning and is provided with a feedback report.