Using Appreciative Inquiry to develop a Dementia Care Pathway

BCUHB Group shot

At the end of July 2014 Roger Rowett worked with Sean Page from Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) to develop a Dementia Care Pathway for people using their in-house services. This 2 day workshop involved all grades of staff in exploring what was working well within the service and their aspirations for the future. This fed into identifying and designing key elements of a pathway that will assist in ensuring clear and effective support for those people using the service.

The focus was very much around ‘how’ things are done as well as ‘what’ is done. This will be followed up by a further workshop for patients and carers later in the year.

Feedback from participants (see below) at the end of the two days highlighted the value of using AI rather than a traditional checkbox approach (i.e. we do this, then this, then this etc.).


Feedback from participants

  •  Initially it was hard to see where the process was going to take us in terms of developing a ‘pathway’ but it was surprising what information came out of the 2 days


  • Informative and well presented 2 days. We had a clear awareness of the dementia pathway and what we will need to achieve to meet this end. Good ‘teaching’ technique – kept me interested throughout – good learning experience.


  • An interesting 2 days. I felt we covered a lot and shared views/opinions well as a group. Some good ideas to take forward. Really liked the AI approach. Never used it before but it seemed to work well and kept us all engaged/focused.


  • Seemed to be good participation from all attending and a good cross section of staff. Good to look at building on strengths and positives. Useful to emphasise next small steps – very important. Important to return to topic to check progress (or lack of it)


  • It makes sense to have a ‘person centred’ approach that brings us more clearly the role of the ‘important other’. The Appreciative Inquiry approach is more empowering for staff as we live in a time of too many targets and it is easy to get demoralised.


  • Good to share the journey with variety of people. AI is a positive approach and something that I will use again. Fish and chips may have been a better food option.


  • Empowering to be a part of development of service. Process was easy to associate with and link practice. The use of AI could be useful in day to day ward management!


  • Good delivery methods used which encouraged participation. Good facilitation – kept group focused on the task. Nice to introduce the subject of AI to HCSW grades.


  • To be included in this workshop, I feel, has made my thought processes come alive. It’s refreshing to realise that what we have always been trying to provide is finally being recognised in a Dementia Pathway – a holistic approach.