Staff at health and care regulator the Care Quality Commission (CQC) are to receive training in dementia awareness for the first time.

The aim of the training, which will give CQC staff a baseline understanding of dementia, is to put those who inspect care homes and hospitals in a better position to assess the quality of care for those with the condition.

About 80% of people in care homes have either dementia or severe memory problems while a quarter of hospital beds are occupied by someone with the condition.

The training will be delivered by experts from the Alzheimer’s Society to more 2,000 staff – from inspectors to support staff such as policymakers – this spring. It will cover what dementia is, give an insight into the experience of living with the condition and explore issues around communicating with people with dementia.

CQC's vtal role

Jeremy Hughes, chief executive of the Alzheimer’s Society, said: “The CQC has a vital role to play in ensuring that people with dementia receive the best care whatever environment they live in. As the people who are responsible for care standards it’s crucial that all CQC staff are aware of the particular needs of people with dementia.

“There are 800,000 people with dementia in the UK. We know that they too often go into hospital when it’s not the best option, stay too long and that those in care homes are not always enjoying a good quality of life. We can’t go on like this. It’s encouraging to see the CQC bring in our experts to work with their staff in order to improve the lives of people with the condition.”

David Behan, chief executive of the CQC, added: “It is important CQC staff are able to recognise high quality care for people with dementia. This new partnership with the Alzheimer's Society means staff will be supported and developed to do this by the leading expert organisation.”