Launch of Virtual Dementia Tour Evaluation Report

Virtual Dementia Tour

Today at St John's Community Hospital, Sligo the HSE launched a report entitled 'A research evaluation of an interactive training experience: The Virtual Dementia Tour'.

One of the pertinent messages within The Irish National Dementia Strategy (Department of Health, 2014) informs us that with the right supports a person with Dementia can live well.

The provision of education and training opportunities for health care professionals and also for carers and people with Dementia is part of our commitment in the HSE to enable us to meet the needs of people living with Dementia in a person-centred and compassionate way.

Dementia care skills and knowledge

The HSE Nursing Midwifery Planning and Development Unit (NMPD), Directors of Nursing/Service Managers and their Teams in the North West have been collaborating on this subject. 

More recently, work has been undertaken with nursing colleagues in the Western Health and Social Care Trust in Northern Ireland to explore how we can work in partnership to build capacity in relation to skills and knowledge around Dementia care.

Co-operation and Working Together (CAWT) supported The Virtual Dementia Tour (VDT) training experience in Donegal for two days in the autumn of 2016.

This unique interactive learning experience which takes place in a mobile simulated training unit was an exciting opportunity for the HSE. It aimed at supporting those caring for people with Dementia to have greater understanding and empathy in their caring role of what it is like to live with a Dementia diagnosis.

A formal research evaluation of the Virtual Dementia Tour was commissioned by the NMPD and undertaken by Ulster University In early 2017.

Innovation in education

Anne Gallen, Director of Nursing Midwifery Planning and Development Unit commented: “We are always exploring new and innovative ways of facilitating education around this important area of practice.Consideration around the findings of this research evaluation will provide the next steps in relation to supporting healthcare teams and carers to provide and evidence informed care to people with a Dementia diagnosis. Moreover, it has the potential to positively impact Nurses as a means of becoming more knowledgeable in the area of Dementia care.”

John Hayes, Chief Officer, Community Healthcare Organisation Area 1 (Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Monaghan & Sligo) outlined his support saying: “This report will provide research evidence to ascertain the efficacy of this type of approach to training and education in Dementia care. The findings will also inform a implementation plan for CHO Area 1 that will support delivery of the National Dementia Strategy”.

Download 'A research evaluation of an interactive training experience: The Virtual Dementia Tour’

Last updated on: 13 / 09 / 2017