Primary Care Education, Pathways and Research in Dementia (PREPARED)
Funded by the Health Service Executive and The Atlantic Philanthropies as part of Ireland's National Dementia Strategy Implementation Programme (2014-2018)
The PREPARED project is a primary care focused national research and service development initiative coordinated by the Department of General Practice at UCC.
PREPARED has been designed to inform and contribute to the delivery of the priority actions and objectives set out in the Department of Health's publication 'The Irish National Dementia Strategy (December 2014). The strategy aims to improve the lives of people with dementia by increasing awareness, ensuring early diagnosis and developing enhanced community based interventions.
The overall aims of the PREPARED project are to develop, deliver and evaluate training and education interventions for primary care clinicians which will contribute to:
- Patients receiving optimal, evidence based dementia care in General Practice by GPs who are upskilled to assess, diagnose and care for patients with dementia, and who are empowered by clear, accessible dementia care pathways;
- Patients recieve an integrated, collaborative dementia care response from a prepared, proactive Primary Care Team.
The PREPARED project consists of 4 inter-related workstreams which will address the following:
- The preparation and dissemination of primary care dementia training and education packages for GPs and members of Primary Care Teams
- The delivery of education and training with support to clinical dementia experts to lead education and mapping of local dementia care pathways, and the engagement of and support for GPs and PCTs to deliver best practice dementia care
- To facilitate behaviour change with the application of decision support software and integrated dementia care pathways, guidelines and clinical toolkits
- To research and evaluate the project on an ongoing basis by conducting dementia learning needs assessments, and assessing the impact on the education, engagement and IT innovation in the delivery of dementia care by GPs and PCTs
The PREPARED project is coordinated by the Department of General Practice at UCC, collaborating with the ICGP and with the Dementia Elevator Programme, School of Nursing and Human Sciences at DCU. The PREPARED project was launched at UCC on 2nd March 2015 by Minister Kathleen Lynch T.D., Minister of State for Primary Care, Social Care and Mental Health. A video film from the PREPARED launch which provides an overview of the project is on youtube.
Since its launch, the PREPARED has developed and published a clinical web resource called dementiapathways.ie which is specifically designed for GPs and primary care health professionals, and which includes clinical care pathways, a comprehensive compendium of information leaflets and guidelines, and a database of community based clinical services and supports available for patients with dementia across Ireland.
The PREPARED project has designed and is delivering educational workshops and seminars for primary care health care professionals and GPs on the diagnosis and management of dementia. These consist of 2 short practice-based locally provided accredited workshops provided by one of our GP facilitators in a number of locations around the country. Between May 2016 and March 2017, over 50 workshops have been run, with nearly 200 GPs and practice staff participating. For information on these workshops or to register an interest in participating in a workshop, please email the team at firstname.lastname@example.org
The PREPARED project, in conjunction with the ICGP, has developed a dementia educational session designed to be run in CME small group meetings. This session has already been run successfully in Cork City CME sessions (October 2016) and will run in Waterford CME sessions (April 2017). Any local CME tutors who are interested in using the PREPARED resources to run a dementia session should contact the team at dementiapathways.ie. The PREPARED team is also working in collaboration with the ICGP in the development and launch of online GP dementia modules which will be available on the ICGP e-learning website. 2 of these modules are currently available for GPs and other primary care healthcare professionals on the ICGP e-learning portal, or on the IPNA website e-learning section (access to the course materials is open to all on the IPNA website, but registration is required on both sites in order to access assessment, completion record and or certificate for CPD).
In September 2017, a UCC fully accredited 10 ECTS CPD blended learning postgraduate module on dementia care in primary care will be launched. More information on the postgraduate module can be found on the UCC CPD website.
The PREPARED team has worked with a number of primary care healthcare professionals over 2016 on the development of training and educational packages and tools geared towards the needs of the wider Primary Care Team (PCT). A three hour workshop on collaborative teamworking and dementia care in primary care has been tested with three groups of primary care based staff and PCTs in Cashel, Tipperary, Kinsale, County Cork and Blackrock, Cork City. A finalised workshop toolkit will be rolled out nationally during 2017 and 2018.
The PREPARED project is developing an evidence base for dementia training for GPs through research, learning needs assessment and interviews with clinicians, patients and carers. Ongoing review of the effectiveness and impact of educational interventions and online resources will be undertaken to inform the roll out of the PREPARED project nationally. PREPARED has also worked with the Irish Primary Care Research Networks (iPCRN) on the development of dementia research and audit tools on GP software systems which are available to all GPs through their practice software to help generate practice based dementia registers and auditable information on dementia diagnoses, medication and care.
The PREPARED project will also be developing further resources for GPs and HSE staff working in primary care teams, and is delighted to be working with colleagues in the HSE National Dementia Office, the ICGP, DCU Dementia Elevator Programme and other partners in collectively contributing to improving awareness and skills in dementia care.
The PREPARED project team are keen to hear from anyone who would like more information about the PREPARED project, or would like to be involved in our education and training initiatives. The team contact details are:
PROJECT EMAIL ADDRESS: email@example.com
Dr Tony Foley, Lecturer in the Department of General Practice and GP in Kinsale: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ms Katherine Thackeray, Dementia Project Manager (021 4205557): email@example.com
Ms Siobhan Boyle, Research Support Officer (021 4205596): firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr Aisling Jennings, GP Researcher/PhD candidate (021 4205597): email@example.com
Dr Kathleen McLoughlin, Research Fellow (021 4205527)