Academy partners with Manchester University to deliver Dubai MasterClass

After the Neurology Academy’s recent successful development of separate Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, and dementia streams, the Neurology Academy has now taken another step having launched its first International MasterClass.

February’s Dementia MasterClass was held in Sharjah, Dubai, in collaboration with The University of Manchester and the Pakistan Institute of Living and Learning. This one-day course focused on advancing delegates’ understanding of the clinical and managerial aspects of caring for people at all stages of dementia.

Academic Director, Dr Iracema Leroi, who is clinical senior lecturer in the Institute of Brain, Behaviour and Mental Health (University of Manchester) and Honorary Consultant in Older Adult Psychiatry, coordinated a programme of sessions which covered the subtypes of dementia, epidemiology, diagnostic criteria, behavioural and psychological complications such as delirium, as well as case-based discussions about dementia management.

Amongst Neurology Academy speakers Drs Ross Dunne and Ross Overshot, both consultant psychiatrists based in Manchester, guest speakers also helped to give a regional perspective. Prof Mowadat Hussain Rana, Professor of Psychiatry, University of Health Sciences, Lahore, discussed the role of professionals and level of awareness, understanding, skills and knowledge about dementia that currently exist in many low to middle income countries (LMICs), as well as focussing on care giving management and support in Pakistan which normally relies on informal networks and family members.

Sehrish Tofique, Research Assistant at Pakistan Institute of Living & Learning, gave an outline of a mental health service younger people which has been successfully developed in Pakistan with learning points that translate over to the development of a service for dementia. She focused on the challenges and opportunities that can guide delegates in thinking about how dementia services may be shaped in other LMIC settings.

The day was a great success, with the 15 delegates who are largely involved in psychology research in Pakistan commenting on how well-structured the training course was. The interactive group workshop activities were particularly well received and many of delegates expressed how valuable this task-orientated aspect of the day was, and furthermore that they would have liked this area expanded to give them more opportunity to roleplay clinical scenarios and practice taking histories and assessments.

The group of delegates had a keen interest in the Neurology Academy holding another refresher MasterClass in their home country of Pakistan. They are eager for an opportunity to go into more detail on their particular local needs and with a focus on practical skills building. Neurology Academy is now working to organise such future courses in partnership with the University.

The Neurology Academy has had 15 years of success providing innovative training programmes which build expertise in both the clinical and managerial aspects of delivering a service for specific neurological conditions. As a first step into offering training outside the UK, the Academy is extremely pleased with this Dementia MasterClass and is keen to continue working alongside The University of Manchester to develop the relationship with PILL and their researchers to inform the content of future educational courses, both for Pakistan and a wider international audience, as it develops.