Person centred care



Dementia project (MEETINGDEM - JPND)



The Association for Dementia Studies was awarded a European Union research grant in order to carry out potentially vital work in helping people and families living with dementia. The aim of the project, known as MEETINGDEM, supported through the EU Joint Programme - Neurodegenerative Disease Research (JPND), was to implement and evaluate the Meeting Centres Support Programme which has achieved great success in the Netherlands. The Meeting Centres Support Programme (MSCP) provides an innovative way of supporting people with mild to moderate dementia and their families through an evidence-based, person-centred approach.

The research grant trialled the approach in three countries – the UK, Italy and Poland. Professor Dawn Brooker led the project in the UK in collaboration with Professor Martin Orrell from University of Nottingham (formerly at University College London) and ADS led the work on the evaluation methodology for the whole programme. The ADS team included Dr. Simon Evans, Dr Shirley Evans, Teresa Atkinson, Nicola Jacobson-Wright, Nicky Bradbury and Mike Watts.

The UK research team was funded by the ESRC (Economic & Social Research Council)  Grant reference: ES/L00920X/1

Project summary

For more information

The meeting centre support programme UK 

Additional videos



Guidance for NHS continuing healthcare assessors 

Evaluating the emotional and psychological needs for people in the later stages of dementia

We were really pleased at the Association for Dementia Studies to be approached by the Alzheimer’s Society to undertake work to develop guidelines on evaluating the emotional needs of people in later-stage dementia. This arose from discussions between Professor Clive Ballard, Samantha Sharpe and Professor Dawn Brooker about the difficult issues faced by the families of people living with dementia when their families and friends are undergoing assessment for Continuing Health Care (CHC) funding.

Some of the issues are centred on the wording and the interpretation of the wording in the assessment documentation. Also, staff who undertake these assessments usually do not have in-depth knowledge about supporting people with advanced dementia or knowledge of the particular individual being assessed. By their nature, CHC assessments tend to be with people who are living with advanced dementia and other long-term health problems and reside in care homes. These additional factors mean that this is a difficult assessment to undertake.

The resulting written guidelines that can be downloaded here for free. They are based on a review of the relevant literature, practice experience from CHC panels, the Alzheimer’s Society, family carers and feedback from nurses and student nurses working in different service settings.

National resource centre for carers of people with Dementia (NRCC)



Expert Working Group - April 2016


Dementia Carers Count were formerly known as the Royal Surgical Aid Society. They have a rich history dating back to 1862 of providing support to people in need; firstly in the form of surgical aids and then more recently in the form of care homes. In 2018, they took a decision to support the needs of people caring for someone with dementia. Creating a Dementia Carers Centre is at the heart of their vision along with offering events and expert-led dementia carer courses.

Dementia Carers Count have a strong collaborative partnership with the Association for Dementia Studies, with a shared vision and shared ethos. This partnership led to the development of the post of Professor of Family Care, working across both organisations towards excellence in the support of families living with dementia.

Having completed a number of projects with the Charity, we are currently working together to evaluate the pilot dementia carer support courses. The three day residential courses are offered in either Birmingham or Swindon, providing an opportunity for carers to learn more about dementia and their caring role. Feedback so far suggests sharing time with others in a similar situation has been invaluable.

To find out more about the work of Dementia Carers Count, please visit their website 

Refreshing the Admiral Nurse competency framework  


Dementia UK logo



The Association for Dementia Studies worked with Dementia UK to refresh their Admiral Nurse Competency Framework. The Framework which has existed since 2003 was updated in 2012, but the role of Admiral Nurses has evolved greatly in the past few years. The range of settings in which Admiral Nurses currently work has become more diverse, and the complexity of the Admiral Nurse role is often underestimated. It was therefore decided that the Admiral Nurse Competency Framework should be refreshed to reflect these changes and become a practical resources supporting Admiral Nurses in their day-to-day work.

The Association for Dementia Studies, therefore, undertook a variety of activities to gather information regarding the requirements for the Admiral Nurse Competency Framework, involving the Admiral Nurses at every stage to ensure that the refreshed Admiral Nurse Competency Framework reflects their needs and is fit for purpose. When working on the new Admiral Nurse Competency Framework, the Association for Dementia Studies used the following as its guiding principles:

  • Streamline the framework whilst ensuring it still underpins practice
  • Incorporate the essence of the previous framework, but in a way that reflects the current practice context and makes it applicable to a range of settings
  • Articulate the complexity of the Admiral Nurse role
  • Use evidence-based reflective practice as the cornerstone of the framework
  • Ensure it supports the NMC revalidation process and appraisal processes within host organisations
  • Make it compatible with being uploaded into PebblePad

We are proud to say that the final version of the refreshed Admiral Nurse Competency Framework was formally delivered to Dementia UK in May 2016. In order to ensure that the Admiral Nurse Competency Framework becomes fully embedded into Admiral Nurse practice, the Association for Dementia Studies was then involved in a programme of roll-out activities from September 2016. This included presenting the Admiral Nurse Competency Framework at the Admiral Nurse Forum in a series of interactive workshops and attending Practice Development Days with every regional group of Admiral Nurses to help them understand the skills and processes required to fully engage with the Admiral Nurse Competency Framework.

The Admiral Nurse Competency Framework has been developed as an online PebblePad workbook, enabling Admiral Nurses to easily gather appropriate evidence in one central location within their own individual portfolios. These can be used to support the NMC revalidation process and appraisals within their host organisations.

For further  information about our work around the Admiral Nurse Competency Framework see the project summary, or contact us at

An evaluation of the Dementia adventure in a box project

Dementia Adventure is a social enterprise whose overall objective is to build long term innovative and mutually beneficial partnerships which directly increase the choices on offer for people living with dementia – specifically connecting them to outdoor nature based adventures through the support of confident, trained Dementia Adventure leaders. A recent initiative has seen the piloting of ‘Dementia Adventure in a Box’, funded by the Big Lottery Foundation. This is a ‘social licence’ scheme under which, for an annual fee, Dementia Adventure provides expertise and support to organisations who become skilled in delivering the Dementia Adventure ‘product’.

The Association for Dementia Studies at the University of Worcester are leading an evaluation of the pilot, in collaboration with the Green Exercise Research Team at the University of Essex. The evaluation is using a mixed methods approach in order to measure progress against the project aims and to explore in detail the process of implementation with project partners and individual delegates, the outdoor activities they provide and the resulting impacts on people living with dementia and their carers. This 3 year project is due to end in 2020.