What is DCAN & how can I use it?
  1. Home
  2.  » 
  3. Blog
  4.  » What is DCAN & how can I use it?
At a glance

DCAN is a network of people and organisations. We work to make lives better for people with dementia. There are lots of ways to get involved. We organise and focus our work around key themes, called DCAN Enquiries. We are always open to new members, so why not join us today?

About DCAN

DCAN is a network for people as well as organisations. It’s the space in the middle where those of us passionate about improving dementia care and support can share insights, research, ideas, models of support, challenges and new opportunities.  These will be explored from a range of perspectives, each contributing to our deeper understanding of how personalised care can be applied in real life to make a difference for people with dementia now.

We start with lived experience and what people with dementia tell us matters most.  We explore what issues need to be addressed in dementia care and support, and consider how personalised care can help.

We are about doing as well as thinking. So we also look at what actions can be taken, when and by whom, to get us closer to where we want to be.

We are primarily about connecting people and ideas-our capacity to make change happen relies on the strength and diversity of the network we create.


Getting involved

DCAN, and its platforms are there for members to use, to test ideas, explore possibilities and connect with other people and organisations. We encourage partnerships and want to hear from you if you have ideas you would like to explore through and with us.

We want anyone involved in dementia care and support to take what they hear and learn in the spaces we create and use it within their own work. That’s true of individuals but also organisations too.

We then encourage you to feed the network with your own experience and learning to help grow the collective knowledge and capacity of us all.

Much of the learning and resources from DCAN activity will be picked up and incorporated into the national roll-out of personalised care in the NHS, particularly where it relates to dementia and dementia pathways.


Focusing our work: DCAN Enquiries

Within DCAN we organise our work through DCAN Enquiries. Each enquiry has a specific theme. We pose questions  at the start that we think will stimulate discussion and then work with our network to find answers or agree actions.

For the coming year we have four enquiries open. These are:

1) Reframing Dementia Building consensus around a future vision for personalised dementia care capable of sustaining a decade of change.

2) What Matters Now? Understanding the impact COVID and its aftermath is having on lives of people affected by dementia, whilst exploring the implications for personalised care.

3) Social Prescribing 360 How can we support the social prescribing to have a transformative impact on the lives of people with dementia? Exploring issues of awareness, effective personalised support via link workers and GPs, as well as ensuring a sustainable and diverse supply of opportunities for people with dementia.

4) Right at the Start Mapping the personalised care model and its six components onto the well pathway for dementia. We’ll be identifying where they are likely to have most impact and what needs to happen to turn ideas and plans into day to day experience for people following a diagnosis.

In each of these enquiries DCAN will gather in the best ideas, insights and evidence from the many people, organisations and projects that are making valuable contributions in that space.

DCAN enquiries will connect people and ideas in exploratory workshops, focus groups and working groups. We will co-design and co-produce resources to assist adoption of the beneficial strategies found and seek to promote understanding, learning and the uptake of good practice more widely.

We hope to welcome your voice, experience and your work into the mix and to build a personalised future for dementia support, together. 

Sound interesting? Join us now.

Find out more

Become a member


Get in touch