Perceptions and development needs of assistant practitioners supporting individuals with dementia

Hardie, Debra ORCID: 0000-0002-6042-6965 and Smith, Joanne ORCID: 0000-0002-7602-563X (2017) Perceptions and development needs of assistant practitioners supporting individuals with dementia. British Journal of Nursing, 26 (16). pp. 918-923. ISSN 2052-2819


Download (428kB) | Preview
Official URL:


In the UK there are an estimated 850 000 people living with dementia. The condition costs the NHS £26 billion each year and it is estimated that this amount will treble over the next 30 years. Thus, there is a need for health and social care staff to be increasingly competent in the delivery of care to those living with dementia. The education of staff will improve knowledge and build capability to support and care for individuals with dementia. This research involved 44 assistant practitioners who shared opinions about their preparation for practice in dementia care. Focus groups and questionnaires were used to collect data that were then thematically analysed. The research also considered the assistant practitioner role in relation to workforce development. Key themes were ‘training, awareness and knowledge associated with dementia care’ and ‘the perceptions of the assistant practitioner regarding confidence to support individuals with dementia’. There was role and responsibility protection from staff, for example, doctors and nurses were reluctant to delegate duties to the assistant practitioner. Participants' commentary indicated, however, that they were competent to support service users with dementia, although there were gaps in their experiences. The case study demonstrated the positive achievement of partnership working between a higher education institution and the workplace, which supported the assistant practitioners' learning and development.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: General Nursing, Dementia, Assistant Practitioner, Training and awareness, Workforce development, Work-based learning, Foundation degree
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Health and Wellbeing
SWORD Depositor: JISC Publications Router
Depositing User: JISC Publications Router
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2018 19:04
Last Modified: 11 Apr 2019 13:25
Identification Number: 10.12968/bjon.2017.26.16.918

Actions (login required)

Edit Item Edit Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics