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The DEMTRAIN study

Developing the evidence base for dementia training in acute NHS hospitals

The DEMTRAIN study team have developed an infographic that presents key factors for successful implementation of dementia training in hospitals and neighbourhoods by including the perspectives and involvement of people living with dementia and care partners, in addition to other key stakeholders (including different groups of staff) and existing literature.

This will serve as a potential tool for planning, developing and evaluating dementia educational programmes in hospital settings. We have also compiled individualised reports to the acute hospitals (n=87) that took part in the DEMTRAIN organisational survey in which we feedback their responses alongside aggregate data from all participating hospitals.


In this large mixed method study DEMTRAIN we describe and evaluate the impact of dementia training in acute NHS hospitals as well as identifying the facilitators and barriers to dementia training in the hospital setting (Ahmed et al., 2020).  Figure 1 summarises the study methods.

  • We use existing data, such as Hospital Episode Statistics, alongside two surveys (at both hospital and the staff levels).
  • We conducted a critical interpretive synthesis of the evidence base for training hospital staff in dementia awareness and care exploring the effectiveness of training programmes, including the exploration of mechanisms, drivers and barriers to dementia training in an hospital setting.
  • The first survey was the national organisational survey of dementia training in acute NHS hospitals in England. This was an online survey to map the variation in staff dementia training. The survey was sent to 193 acute NHS hospitals in England in 2017. We used the CCQI National Audit of Dementia (NAD) sample frame contact list and received responses from 87 acute NHS hospitals (45%).
  • The second survey was a staff survey in eleven hospitals that were selected from a random sample of 24 acute NHS hospitals. From these, up to 30 staff members were recruited per hospital. An in-depth case study was also conducted in six acute NHS hospitals, for which we conducted ward observations, environmental checklists and interviews with staff , including nurses, health care assistants, doctors, allied health professionals, housekeepers, porters, cleaners, security staff and senior managers.  In addition, we aim to explore the cost effectiveness of dementia training packages.

The findings from all these phases of this study will further help provide organisational insights for hospitals. As the team publishes results, open access versions of publications will be available which will be accessible through this page and also through the Neighbourhoods and Dementia study website.


The DEMTRAIN research team have used their research to date to develop an infographic model summarizing the key factors that lead to successful dementia training in acute NHS hospital settings.

We have also produced an interactive web-based resource summarizing the key factors that lead to successful dementia training in acute NHS hospital settings.

These free resources illustrate the complex landscape of dementia training in acute NHS hospitals, through charting the mechanisms, interactions, barriers and facilitators to dementia training in this acute care setting. They will be of use to dementia leads, dementia specialist nurses, educators and trainers, senior managers and trust board directors, and other staff groups involved in planning, delivering and evaluation dementia training in hospitals.

The infographic may be especially helpful for auditing current dementia training packages and assessing training packages for potential use as well as delivery approaches. Of particular interest are the icons on the infographic relating to Neighbourhoods and Involvement of People Living with Dementia and Carers.

We want to highlight these as of dementia training. You are free to use and share the infographic resource through web and social media platforms. The infographic can be shared via training and education departments to appropriate dementia specialist staff, managers and hospital Trust board members.

Dementia training in hospitals and neighbourhoods infographic (DEMTRAIN)

If you require this information in an alternative format, please contact our team. You can also read our Website Accessibility Statement.

Contact us

For further details, please email Siobhan Reilly, Professor of Applied Dementia Care Research, Director of the Centre for Applied Dementia Studies


Ahmed F, Morbey H, Harding A, Reeves D, Swarbrick C, Davies L, Hann M, Holland F, Elvish R, Leroi I, Burrow S, Burns A, Keady J, Reilly S. (2020). Developing the evidence base for evaluating dementia training in NHS hospitals (DEMTRAIN): a mixed methods study protocol. British Medical Journal Open. 10:e030739.


We are grateful for the funding from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). Work Programme 5, Developing the evidence base for evaluating dementia training in NHS hospitals (DEMTRAIN), forms part of the ESRC/NIHR Neighbourhoods and Dementia mixed-methods Study under grant: ES/L001772/1. Our special thanks to Garstang and Halton Memory Caf├ęs, Scottish Dementia Working Group and all of our co-researchers who have helped us. We thank all the participants and all who helped us in the study, the DEMTRAIN Advisory Group and Marie Crane, Research Co-ordinator.