Purpose – Through consultation with people living with dementia and carers, this paper aims to identify skills that patients and carers feel need to be developed in the workforce. This work is part of a project to develop competencies for the West Midlands dementia workforce.
Design/methodology/approach – People living with a dementia and carers were contacted through cafés, a carers' group and memory group, and two people contributed interviews to the analysis. All materials were analysed qualitatively using thematic analysis.
Findings – Feedback was received from 69 individuals. In total, six major themes were identified: knowledge about dementia, person centred care, communication, relationships, support and helping people engage in activities.
Originality/value – It is argued that people living with dementia and carers bring unique and valuable perspectives to an analysis of the skills of the dementia workforce, which grounds the required skills in the relationship between the worker and the person and family they are working with. This different emphasis needs to be considered and addressed throughout dementia training and education.