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Interprofessional experiential learning (IPE) solutions: equipping the qualified dementia workforce to champion evidence informed improvement to advanced dementia care and family caring (Palliare).
Start date: Sep 1, 2014, End date: Sep 30, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

In 2008 the estimated cost of dementia within Europe (EU27) was €160.3 billion, equivalent to €22,194 per person with dementia. Between one third and a half of people living with dementia in Europe do so in resource-intensive facilities (e.g. nursing homes and hospitals), although the policy imperative is to shift the balance of care through family caring. The known variation in the quality of dementia care across Europe, (which ranges from impoverished care to high quality care) represents a major health care inequality. For these reasons the European Parliament recently highlighted the need for common guidelines to inform the training of practitioners and others involved in caring for persons with dementia. The 2013 G8 Dementia Summit additionally called for shared solutions to workforce development across the care continuum. The middle to late stages of the disease (advanced dementia), may last up to 10 years. This stage is particularly challenging due to the complexity of the condition. A serious qualified dementia workforce challenge is a legacy of under investment in post registration education and a lack of leadership development coupled with the low status of dementia careers. The aim of the dementia Palliare project is to create an inspirational experiential interprofessional learning solution to equip the European qualified dementia workforce to lead and champion practice reform. The first stage of the project will culminate in the co-production of an evidence based European Best Practice Statement defining the extended palliative phase of dementia and the principles underpinning best practice. An interprofessional education gap analysis will examine what is required to equip the qualified dementia workforce to deliver best practice. The second implementation phase of the project will see the development and piloting of an innovative virtual interprofessional experiential learning solution including an international virtual community of practice and validated modules in a range of languages. The specific objectives and outcomes are as follows: Phase 1 Objective: An inter professional understanding of best practice for advanced dementia care and family caring during the extended palliative care stage of the illness, and an understanding of the contribution of different disciplines to the achievement of best practice. Outcomes: 1.1) An interrogative literature review of dementia care and family caring associated with the extended palliative phase of the illness. 1.2) A comparative documentary analysis of policy across partner countries. 1.3) Comparative case studies from the partner countries illustrating the experience of extended palliative care phase of dementia from the perspective of the individual with dementia and family caring. 1.4) An agreed European Best Practice Statement. 1.5) An interprofessional education gap analysis. Phase 2 Objective: Develop an innovative virtual interprofessional experiential learning solution to equip the European qualified dementia workforce to transform advanced dementia care and deliver best practice. Outcomes: 2.1) A learning and facilitation framework based on a pedagogical a review of virtual experiential learning and facilitation methods and interventions. 2.2) A shared online collaborative learning environment . 2.3) Interprofessional module materials (e.g. CoP practice improvement and values reconcilitation methodology and modules on Advance Dementia Care Interventions) at undergraduate and post graduate levels in a range of European languages. 2.4) An experiential learning facilitator manual and student handbook in a range of European languages. 2.5) An inaugural European faculty comprising academics and practitioners from partner countries, with experiential learning facilitation capabilities. 2.6) A development plan for a sustainable virtual European Dementia Academy based on the project outputs. To deliver the project ambition we have assembled a seven country partnership comprising multi-professional leaders with combined expertise in experiential practice based learning and dementia care. Opportunities for international stakeholders to engage with the project will include online and social media, online open door events, community of practice membership, pilot work, public conferences and consensus conferences. The project legacy will include the building blocks for a virtual European Dementia Academy founded upon a robust experiential learning framework and state of the art e-learning environment with a skilled international faculty of facilitators. The project will refresh approaches to workforce development and contribute to mobility and virtual mobility and give a much needed boost to advanced dementia care standards and dementia careers.
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