Dementia UK’s Helpline was recognised and celebrated for its work in providing information, support and advice to improve the lives of families with dementia at the 2019 Helplines Partnership Annual Conference and Awards ceremony. The Helplines Partnership Awards are now in their sixth year and celebrate the achievements of helplines around the UK, with the Admiral Nurse Dementia Helpline taking the ‘Helpline of the Year’ crown this year. The ceremony took place at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Birmingham.
The Admiral Nurse Dementia Helpline is the only nurse-led helpline in the UK for anyone with any questions about dementia. People can ring up about anything from signs and symptoms of dementia to look out for, support in getting a diagnosis as well as advice in responding to changes in behaviour with someone with dementia.
Demand for the Helpline is high with the number of calls to the service increasing by 25% to 45,584 over the past year. This points to the increasing number of families living with dementia who are in need of help, understanding, knowledge and vital support.
The high number of calls is equalled by the number of family carers who continue to give the Helpline positive feedback. From a recent Carers Experience Survey, over 90% of people said that the Helpline has allowed them to take better care of the person they look after, in addition to making important decisions about them. Furthermore 96% of people said that they were likely or extremely likely to recommend the Helpline to others.
Susan Drayton, Clinical Lead of the Admiral Nurse Dementia Helpline, said: “This award win is such fantastic news and is testament to the wealth of expertise and compassion that Admiral Nurses provide to the thousands of families living with dementia. The health and social care system is still so fragmented and in an environment where public health programmes are dwindling, the Helpline is vital for families who feel they have nowhere else to turn to.”
Susan also received third place in the ‘Employee of the Year’ award as well as the ‘Random Acts of Kindness’ award at the ceremony.
About these, Susan said: “I’m also hugely honoured to reach third place in the ‘Employee of the Year’ award and to win the ‘Random Acts of Kindness’ award. However, these awards are also shared with our amazingly dedicated team who continue to develop the Helpline and are shining examples of what it means to be dementia specialist Admiral Nurses.”