Time for Dementia, the ground-breaking project to help improve the care people with dementia receive now and in the future, has won a top mental health award.
Time for Dementia, which pairs families with trainee healthcare professionals affected by the illness, is the first project of its kind in the world. It won in the Education category of the national Positive Practice in Mental Health awards, held on Thursday 12 October.
The initiative, launched two years ago, involves more than 1,000 medical, nursing and paramedic students spending regular time with more than 600 families affected by dementia. Students visit a family three or four times a year for up to two hours each time. The idea is to improve knowledge, attitudes and empathy towards people with dementia and their carers. The programme is being delivered by Brighton and Sussex Medical School and the University of Surrey in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Society and the NHS.
It is funded by Health Education Kent, Surrey and Sussex, which is part of Health Education England, the body that funds undergraduate training of healthcare professionals. The other NHS organisation taking part, alongside Sussex Partnership, is Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.
Time for Dementia is led by Professor Sube Banerjee, Director of the Centre for Dementia Studies at Brighton and Sussex Medical School / Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. He said: “We are delighted and proud that Time for Dementia has been recognised with this award.
"We want to help healthcare students understand what it is really like to live with a long-term health condition like dementia. Through this programme they learn about what it is to be old and ill in society, and how people adapt and manage living with serious long-term illness over time. This helps build compassion and understanding. And it helps equip students for their future careers as health professionals and helps us provide better care.
"This is the most ambitious programme of its type anywhere in the world. It is already changing the way in which healthcare students of the future learn about dementia."
Find out more about the Time for Dementia programme here >