THE University of Cumbria is one of just a handful of UK establishments which has added dementia education to its curriculum.

It has become one of just 53 UK universities in the Higher Education for Dementia Network (HEDN), which has developed the Curriculum for Dementia Education (CfDE), in a bid to improve the knowledge and skills students will need to go on to work in health and social care.

“We are excited to be involved in the launch of this curriculum,” said Linda Morrison, programme lead for the foundation degree in health and social care at the university.

“As the first university in the UK to deliver a foundation degree with a named pathway in dementia care, the CfDE will also be embedded in all our health and social care programmes.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for those who provide services to people with dementia, as education specialising in dementia care is now gaining the recognition that it deserves.”

HEDN, which is coordinated by charity Dementia UK, has developed the curriculum over a number of years through consultation with people living with dementia, their families, dementia care practitioners and network members.

This followed from research conducted by HEDN which identified that coverage of dementia in most UK university health and social care courses was ‘inadequate and inconsistent’.

Rachel Thompson, chair of the organisation, said: “Dementia needs to be integral to education for all health and social care professionals but also needs to be delivered in a consistent and systematic way.

“We hope that the CfDE will provide a framework to ensure that this happens effectively and across all education providers.”