Shirley Law created a programme to help nursing staff improve the care they give patients with dementia.

Shirley Law.  Picture credit: Mike Wilkinson

The head of learning and development at the University of Stirling’s Dementia Services Development Centre, is a finalist in the Nursing Older People category of the 2016 RCNi Nurse Awards. The award is sponsored by Hallmark Care Homes.

As a senior charge nurse – and carer for a family member – Shirley recognised that nursing and support staff wanted to do better for people with dementia but, through lack of understanding, knowledge and skills, did not know how to improve their practice.

So she designed, wrote and developed a self-study programme, Best Practice in Dementia Care. Six workbooks cover every aspect of psychological and clinical care. A trained group facilitator supports participants, holding regular group meetings to discuss topics raised in the modules. Between meetings, learners are expected to reflect on issues relating to their practice.

Shirley Law.  Picture credit: Mike Wilkinson

Shirley says: ‘Person-centred care is about breaking down how to do it for each individual. Participants can sit with a facilitator looking at individual and team practice and review incidents.

‘The training has to work around the running of the ward or care home. And it is suitable for any educational level. When I piloted it a lot of people had never been in higher education – or had not done anything for a long time.’

More than 8,000 people have now completed the programme.

Shirley says: ‘I am absolutely delighted to be shortlisted for this award. Having spent my working life nursing older people, this nomination means so much to me both professionally and personally.

‘Improving the care that older people receive is a national priority, and the learning programme has been designed to equip staff with improved understanding, skills and confidence and enable them to make the right decisions about what support is required for individuals in any given situation.’

About the sponsor

Hallmark Care Homes

Hallmark Care Homes

Hallmark Care Homes is one of the leading providers of high quality, relationship-centred care, with 15 beautifully furnished care homes across England and Wales. They are dedicated to providing quality environments and high standards of care, which enable residents to live life to the full. Hallmark Care Homes employ outstanding nurses that play a vital part in their care delivery. They provide exceptional career pathways for nurses from graduation through to senior managers, which include clinical and leadership programmes. If you’re thinking of a career move, give Hallmark Care Homes a call on 01277 314191 or visit

Our sponsors