Meet the team
AHP Post Diagnostic Lead
AHP Professional Advisor Primary Care
- Elaine Hunter, National AHP Consultant, Alzheimer Scotland
- Professor Maggie Nicol, Chair of Alzheimer Scotland AHP Dementia Forum
What is the challenge your project is going to address and how does it connect to your chosen theme?
There are 850,000 people with dementia in the UK, with numbers set to rise to over 1 million by 2025 (Alzheimer Society). There is an increasing evidence base on the benefits of AHP early interventions on helping people to live well with dementia but the challenge is ensuring equitable access (Alzheimer Scotland, 2017). One answer to this is implementation of an evidence based Occupational Therapy Home Based Memory Rehabilitation (HBMR) improvement project in Scotland. Successful outcomes e.g. maintenance of skills have been demonstrated for people living with early dementia. However there continues to be challenges around access to the intervention due to waiting lists and capacity to deliver sessions (around 6 – 10 home visits) at optimum timescale (especially remote and rural areas). The impact on the person is that they are having to wait for rehabilitation which can negatively affect quality of life, confidence to engage in local communities and support for carers.
What does your project aim to achieve?
The aim is to work in partnership with people living with dementia (plwd) to explore and design technological solutions (e.g. NHS Attend Anywhere/Amazon devices/online resources) for delivery and reinforcement of HBMR.
We will focus on one rural area in Scotland where there are waiting lists and the Service has demonstrated readiness for change.
The improvement will be increased capacity within the system allowing earlier access for rehabilitation and increased capability for reinforcement of learning, which would derive the maximum rehabilitative benefit of HBMR.
Improvement methodology will be utilised, continuing to measure impact of HBMR, quality of life for person and carer and therapist experience. Additional measures would capture what was enhanced (or not) around using technology (person, carer, therapist, system) e.g. satisfaction and ease of use. Travel (time, cost, environmental impact) vs time required for technology implementation and impact on waiting lists.
How will the project be delivered?
Quality improvement methodology will be utilised. We have strong relationships with the Scottish Dementia Working Group and National Dementia Carers Action Network who will be on a national expert advisory panel, including our Technology Team. We will work with the local Alzheimer Scotland Team to identify plwd willing to participate. Occupational Therapists delivering HBMR will be key partners working with their local post diagnostic team.
To ensure true co-design, we will integrate the Dementia Experience Toolkit in practice (Alzheimer’s Society, 2019). We will link with the wider implementation of Scotland’s technology strategy, connecting with Q members.
We are confident utilising technology will support HBMR but the risk is ensuring the right balance between face to face sessions and technological solutions. We need to make sure that whatever is designed, has the same positive impact as the current programme.
Scale and spread potential will be considered throughout.
What and how is your project going to share learning throughout?
There is growing interest in the HBMR project with initial collaborations across the UK and internationally, this learning would be a shared as a valuable contribution.
The learning from this project has implications for other rehabilitative early interventions in dementia. Members of the Project Team host and chair the Alzheimer Scotland AHP Dementia Forum (this group has representation from every Health Board in Scotland, AHP professional bodies, improvement teams, Q members and NHS Education for Scotland). We would ensure that the project is a standing agenda item. We would also continue to share learning more widely via our active social media presence, our blogs and webinars. We would disseminate the learning at national and international conferences and publish in professional journals.
As far as we are aware, the technological solutions we are looking to co-design are a relatively new area in dementia and the learning will be useful for the Q Community and the wider system.
How you can contribute
- We would value any questions around our idea in order to help us refine it
- We would appreciate any ideas or advice in ensuring true co-design when working with people living with dementia and unpaid carers
|1 Jul 2019||Deepen understanding of co-design in dementia|
|1 Jan 2020||Develop project team|
|1 Jan 2020||Establish expert advisory group|
|20 Jan 2020||Collaboratively agree project plan|
|1 Feb 2020||Identify people living with dementia willing to participate|
|1 Feb 2020||Scope available technology and procure for testing|
|1 Mar 2020||Participatory co-design (workshops and individualised)|
|1 Apr 2020||Training and development of technological solutions|
|1 May 2020||Commence PDSA Cycles|
|1 Sep 2020||Completion of data collection|
|1 Nov 2020||Evaluation completed and sharing of learning|
|1 Dec 2020||Spread and sustainability plan finalised|