The expert consensus is that when it comes to dealing with the needs of patients and carers with signs of cognitive problems or a diagnosis of dementia, primary care providers often find themselves lacking confidence and knowledge about what information and practical support might be suitable or, indeed, available.
In response, and building on the successful Health Education England’s (HEE) progress on Tier 1 (awareness raising, in terms of knowledge, skills and attitudes for all those working in health and care) The National Association of Primary Care (NAPC) provided an e-learning, classroom and on the job training for nominees from an initial group of 20 GP practices and 20 community pharmacies, as a pilot learning process. This provided a platform for transition into HEE’s Tier 2 (knowledge, skills and attitudes for roles that have regular contact with people living with dementia).
Following training in June and July 2014, the role of the Primary Care Navigator has been developed, trained and implemented in a number of geographic locations across England, covering both GP practices and pharmacies. PCNs and their supervisors have received site visits and mentor support in the period following their training up until the data collection period in February 2015. Learning from these visits has been shared with all participants as we have together built an understanding of the barriers and enablers to making the PCN role an integral part of local service provision.
The culmination of this project is presented via the independent evaluation of its impact by Deloitte LLP will be launched at NHS Confederation Conference on Wednesday 3rd June 2015 at ACC Liverpool. 90 patients and carers reported ability to find support increased 34% as a result of this role in pharmacies and GP Practices.