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tide is Helping Shape the way that GP’s of the Future Interact with Patients and Carers of People with Dementia

tide is currently involved in an exciting pilot project in conjunction with Tracey Barker from North Derbyshire NHS trust, shaping the way GP’s practice and assisting with their training.

Over the last 6 years Tracey has worked as The Specialist Clinical Lead Nurse for the Dementia Rapid Response Team (South & City) She has 31 years as an Registered Mental Health Nurse in Older Adults working in various clinical areas.

More recently she became the Older Adult Senior Educator (dementia specific) for Nottingham Undergraduate Medical Students (Year 4) for 3 days a week.

 One of her key roles as a Senior Educator is to recruit and support the development of a group of ‘Patient & Carer Experts’ who have lived experience in dementia.

  • Experience and living with a diagnosis of dementia
  • Caring for a loved one living with dementia

The primary role of the ‘Patient & Carer Experts’ is to assist in developing the medical students through educating them about how it feels to live with a dementia diagnosis. They will learn what impacts on the carer and person living with dementia through the sharing of patient & carer knowledge and personal experiences.

The Expert actively participates in a discussion (interview with the medical student) for approx. 1.5 hour via teams and eventually face to face contact (according to COVID restrictions).

The medical student will ask the Expert questions, with the aim being that they would develop their communication skills, self-awareness, understanding and knowledge of dementia, empathy and compassion from a humanistic perspective (understanding how it feels for the patient & carer) without purely focussing on diagnosis or treatment options.

The overall feedback received from Nottingham University has strongly highlighted the importance of these interviews in the development of a well-rounded doctor; with patient and carer inclusion engagement being a high priority for Derbyshire healthcare Foundation Trust inclusion.

These sessions are in accordance to the ‘Patient or Carer Expert’s’ availability, without pressure of attendance or commitment.

Currently medical students only receive 5 weeks of Older Adult Mental health experience or placement throughout their 8 years training. As such this programme is vital in supporting improved dementia awareness in the future medical practice.

This is a pilot project but if it is successful, Tracey is hopeful it can be rolled out across the country.

tide currently has 4 current and former carers, 3 TAG (tide Advisory Group) members and 2 staff members assisting on this project. This is an on-going project; if you are interested in taking part please e mail for more information.

Want to get involved with this project?

Email Sarah at

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