We spoke to Buz Loveday who is the Lead Trainer at NDAA member Dementia Trainers on the work they are carrying out, what that is focussed on and our own Seldom Heard to Seen & Heard campaign. Dementia Trainers help organisations deliver outstanding person-centred dementia care to their clients by providing dementia training, consultancy, mentoring and support.
1. Can you tell us about Dementia Trainers?
We are a specialist training organisation with a mission to improve the care of people with dementia. There are four trainers in the team and we work up and down the country providing training and other developmental support for health and care organisations. This includes running training courses for front-line staff (including dementia qualifications and accredited programmes), providing training in dementia care leadership for managers, and delivering dementia-specific train the trainer courses. We also run in-house dementia care development programmes, which involve working alongside staff to help them achieve excellence in their care of people with dementia. You can find out more about us at www.dementiatrainers.co.uk.
2. What does your role involve?
I’m the director of Dementia Trainers and the lead trainer. In addition to running training courses and providing consultancy on dementia care, I create all the training that my associates and I deliver. Most of our training is bespoke and I spend time talking to commissioners of our courses to gain a thorough understanding of the training needs of their staff to ensure that I create a course that addresses their needs. I also provide supervision and guidance to my team.
3. We launched our campaign From Seldom Heard to Seen & Heard in September. Why do you think it is important to consider people affected by dementia in seldom heard groups?
People living with dementia are frequently marginalised, excluded and not listened to. Those from seldom heard groups face a double whammy and too often their needs and rights are neglected. Relationships are unrecognised, cultural needs are misunderstood and sweeping generalisations are made. Making sure that the voices of seldom heard groups are listened to is fundamental to upholding the rights of all people living with dementia.
4. Can you tell us about how your career to date has led you to your current role?
In 1991 I joined a newly established outreach team, based within a voluntary sector organisation in Hackney, East London. The remit was to improve the care of people with dementia by giving training and support to care providers in the locality. I was recruited to this role more for my background in training than expertise in dementia, but over subsequent years I was lucky to be able to spend lots of time learning from people with dementia and those who were caring for them. After the grant funding for this work came to an end, I was given the remit of developing the service into a business unit and launching our dementia training on a national basis. Some years later the organisation moved in a different direction and in 2006 I established Dementia Trainers.
I was lucky to get involved in dementia just as Tom Kitwood and the Bradford Dementia Group were gaining prominence. I worked closely with Tom for a number of years, including collaborating with him on ‘Improving Dementia Care: A Resource for Training and Professional Development’. More recently, I was honoured to be invited by Professor Murna Downs to write about my work on dementia care leadership for the Bradford Dementia Group ‘Good Practice Guides’ series of books – this became my book ‘Leadership for Person-Centred Dementia Care’ published by Jessica Kingsley in 2012.
5. What are you currently working on in regards to dementia?
Much of my work this year is around training on dementia care leadership. I deliver an accredited course on this topic, which I’ve been running for a number of different organisations, and I’m also delivering various bespoke courses on the same theme. I firmly believe that without good leadership, good dementia care cannot be sustained. It gives me a great sense of fulfilment to be able to equip and support managers and other leaders to develop their teams and services to turn the rhetoric of person-centred care into reality.
My team and I are also working with a number of different local authorities providing a range of training courses on dementia. This includes a big piece of work with Essex County Council that involves a series of Train the Trainer and Leadership courses for care homes, domiciliary services and disability services, enabling them to roll out dementia training to their staff teams.
6. Tell us something interesting about yourself.
When I’m not working, my passion is music. I sing and play the fiddle in a folk/country group and also sing in a classical choir and a small acapella ensemble.