Frances and Michelle

NHS Western Isles has announced Frances Robertson, Senior Charge Nurse at Western Isles Hospital’s Surgical Ward, and Michelle Cameron, Staff Nurse at Ospadal Uibhist agus Bharraigh, as its latest successful graduates for Cohort 7 Dementia Champions.

Over the last nine months Frances and Michelle have committed time and effort to completing the course, which expands the NHS Western Isles team of Dementia Champions to 11 situated across the islands.

Elizabeth Shelby, NHS Western Isles Nurse Consultant for Older People and Dementia, stated: “We are so lucky to have staff willing to take on this very important role.  Without this expertise being on hand in wards and other areas, it would be very difficult to provide the quality of care that people affected by dementia require. I would like to thank all our Dementia Champions, new and old for their hard work.”

The programme, delivered by the University of the West of Scotland and Alzheimer Scotland, supports the development of Dementia Champions as change agents in improving the experience, care, treatment and outcomes for people with dementia, and their families and carers in acute general and community hospitals, and at the interface between hospital and community settings. 

The graduation ceremony, which was part of a national conference, saw the number of Dementia Champions in Scotland rising to over 700 on as 102 NHSScotland and social service staff graduated from the seventh cohort of the programme. 

The programme also reflects the importance of “Promoting Excellence” - the educational framework developed by NHS Education for Scotland (NES) and the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) for all health and social service staff working with people with dementia, their families and carers.

Maureen Watt, Minister for Mental Health, Scottish Government, who delivered a keynote address at the graduation, said: “The Dementia Champions programme is a clear demonstration of the Scottish Government’s on-going commitment to ensuring people with dementia get the care and support they are entitled to in all care settings.

“This initiative is an excellent example of developing a talented workforce whose learning and experience is invaluable to not only themselves and colleagues, but to people living with dementia, their families and carers. Joint investment with Alzheimer’s Scotland in Dementia Nurse Consultants across NHS Boards will continue to support this work.”

In addition to the conference and graduation ceremony, a series of workshops and poster presentations were offered, led by Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Nurse Consultants and graduates from earlier Dementia Champions cohorts.