Dementia - PREPARED
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 which ran between 2015 and 2019.
PREPARED contributed to the delivery of the priority actions and objectives for primary care health services 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 were to develop, deliver and evaluate training and education interventions for primary care clinicians which led 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 consisted 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 was coordinated by the Department of General Practice at UCC and was led by Dr Tony Foley, Lecturer at UCC and GP in Kinsale, collaborating with the ICGP and with the Dementia Elevator Programme, School of Nursing and Human Sciences at DCU. The PREPARED project team consisted of Katherine Thackeray (Project Manager), Dr Aisling Jennings (GP and PhD candidate), Siobhan Boyle (Research Support Officer) and Kathleen McCloughlin (Research Fellow). 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, information about education and training opportunities for GPs and primary care clinicians, and a database of community based clinical services and supports available for patients with dementia across Ireland.
The PREPARED project developed and delivered a range of educational interventions including workshops and seminars for GPs on the diagnosis and management of dementia in primary care. These consisted of short practice-based locally provided accredited workshops faciliated by a group of GP facilitators in a number of locations around the country. Between May 2016 and December 2018, over 90 workshops have been run, with a combined total of over 550 GPs and practice staff participating. The PREPARED project has shared the GP dementia workshop content with the ICGP CME tutor network, and the workshops have also been used in local small group CME sessions in Cork, Dungarvan, Waterford, Galway and Dublin South West reaching a further 230 GPs. A full workshop facilitators guide and clinical content is published and available for use on the dementiapathways.ie website
The PREPARED project, in collaboration with the ICGP, launched a comprehensive dementia e-learning module for GPs which is available on the ICGP e-learning website (login required).
PREPARED also developed and delivered a UCC CPD postgraduate module on dementia care in primary care that is a fully accredited 10 ECTS CPD blended learning module. 19 GP students successfully completed the course in 2017/2018, and 17 more completed the course in 2018/2019. More information on the postgraduate module can be found on the UCC CPD website.
The PREPARED team worked closedly with the National Dementia Office of the HSE, and with a number of primary care healthcare professionals on the development of training and educational packages and tools geared towards the needs of the wider Primary Care Team (PCT). This included resources on the dementiapathways.ie website. A three hour workshop on collaborative teamworking and dementia care in primary care has been developed by Anne Quinn, Advanced Nurse Practitioner in the HSE working with the PREPARED team, and tested with three groups of primary care based staff and PCTs in Cashel, Tipperary, Kinsale, County Cork and Blackrock, Cork City in 2016/7. A number of PCT workshops were run around the country in various locations and are now offered to staff in the HSE and primary care through a number of Centres of Nursing and MIdwifery Education (CNMEs), and a facilitators workshop guide is available at dementiapathways.ie Further resources for individual professional groups are being developed with funding from PREPARED in conjunction with the National Dementia Office in the HSE and the Dementia Services and Information Development Centre (DSIDC) at St James, Dublin.
The PREPARED project also developed a research evidence base for dementia training for GPs through research, learning needs assessment and interviews with clinicians, patients and carers, and has worked in conjunction with the School of Nursing at DCU and with Dr Maria Pierce on evaluation of the project. A full list of publications associated with the PREPARED project are available on dementiapathways.ie 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 many GPs through their practice software to help generate practice based dementia registers and auditable information on dementia diagnoses, medication and care. The PREPARED team has also produced a clinical audit guide on dementia for GPs, which is available on the dementiapathways.ie website.