RCN Leadership

Transforming dementia care in care homes

An RCN practice development programme

Currently over 280,000 people living with dementia reside in care homes in the UK.

Delivered in collaboration with Dementia UK, this programme is intended to improve residents’ care and has been successfully implemented in a number of care homes.

The programme is based on SPACE principles (see box, right), and sets out a supported practice development methodology which benchmarks services, identifies gaps in service provision and action plans to bridge the deficit.

Following the highly successful evaluation, the RCN plans to run this programme as part of its professional services offer, commencing in 2019

SPACE principles

SPACE is an acronym that encompasses

  • Staff who are skilled and have time to care
  • Partnership working with carers
  • Assessment, early identification of dementia and post diagnostic support
  • Care and support plans which are person-centred and individual
  • Environments that are dementia friendly

Programme delivery

The 12 month programme will involve attendance at three face-to-face days based at RCN HQ, supplemented with phone-in "surgeries". Each day will be run by an expert facilitator, with experience of the care home sector, and keynote speakers.

  • Day one - an opportunity to benchmark your service against best practice. Undertake some
    diagnostic testing before forming an action plan for your team to improve care.
  • Day two - an opportunity to hear dementia experts giving advice and feedback on your action plan
    progress, assisting you with delivery.
  • Day three - an opportunity to celebrate your success, sharing your work with colleagues, families
    and residents and to plan for the future.

Potential Benefits of the programme

To your organisation

  • Evidence-based methodology to improve care which aligns with the aspirations of excellence set out by health care regulators.
  • Positive reputation.
  • Developing practice/using evidence to improve resident care.

To your staff

  • Professional development opportunity.
  • Sharing best practice.
  • Improved patient care.

To residents

  • A positive environment.
  • Confidence that their health and social care needs will be responded to. 
  • Engagement of residents and their families.

Register your interest

By submitting this form, you are giving the RCN permission to contact you about transforming dementia care in care homes. 

You can control the information you receive from the RCN by updating your preferences at MyRCN.

The information you provide in this form will be stored by the RCN.

Protecting your privacy is very important to us. Please view our privacy policy to find out more about the information we collect and how it is used.

l have really enjoyed working on this project and found the experience to be motivational, supportive and beneficial for myself, my team, staff and residents.

Past programme participant


£4,200 + VAT per care home

Please note this practice development programme is not intended for individuals. Care homes who apply for the programme can nominate up to 5 staff to attend.

Find out more

Leadership Development, Royal College of Nursing, 20 Cavendish Square, Room 207, London, W1G 0RN


0207 647 3485