THE University of Cumbria is one of a group that has developed a new curriculum to improve dementia education in the UK.

It has helped to design a guide to universities for developing the content of higher education programmes for health and social care professionals – such as people in nursing, occupational therapy, physiotherapy and social work.

The university is one of 53 members of the Higher Education for Dementia Network (HEDN) which has developed the curriculum with the aim of helping to ensure that courses address the knowledge and skills health and social care staff need to care for people with dementia.

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

It follows research by HEDN which identified that coverage of dementia in most UK university health and social care courses was inadequate and inconsistent.

Linda Morrison, programme lead for the foundation degree in Heath and Social Care at the University of Cumbria, said: “We are excited to be involved in the launch of this curriculum.

“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 hope the curriculum will eventually be adopted by all UK unversities, resulting in coverage of dementia in all health and social care courses.

Rachel Thompson, Chair of HEDN, said: “Dementia needs to be integral to education for all health and social care professionals.”