A new service that helps the families and the carers of people with dementia to cope with the condition is to be launched in Coventry and Rugby.
Six Admiral Nurses are to serve the two areas thanks to a partnership project between NHS Coventry and Rugby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Dementia UK, Coventry and Rugby GP Alliance and Coventry University.
All of the Admiral Nurses will be funded by NHS Coventry and Rugby CCG and Dementia UK, with two also funded by Coventry University where the Admiral Nurses will help develop a strategy for dementia education and teach across health profession courses.
Admiral Nurses are registered specialist dementia nurses with significant experience and provide expert practical, clinical and emotional support to families living with dementia. They play a unique role in care management by joining up the different parts of the health and social care system, so the needs of family carers and people with dementia can be addressed in a co-ordinated way.
Most Admiral Nurses work for the NHS in communities, helping people with dementia to stay at home for longer, but they also work in other settings including GP practices and hospitals. Dementia UK, who developed the Admiral Nursing model, will govern and monitor the Admiral Nurse service.
Initially referrals to the service will be made by local Memory Clinics or from GP practices but this will expand once the service becomes more established. All six nurses will work for the Coventry and Rugby GP Alliance.
In Coventry and Rugby CCG there are an estimated 4,579 people living with dementia. Of these 60% have received a formal diagnosis, meaning nearly 2,000 people have not been formally diagnosed, and so remain unable to avail themselves of available services.
Dr Jerry Horn, Clinical Lead for Dementia at NHS Coventry and Rugby CCG and director of the GP Alliance, believes the nurses will make a real difference for the carers and the families of people with dementia. He said: “One of the CCG’s key pieces of work is transforming the dementia care that is provided in Coventry and Rugby and providing Admiral Nurses is a massive step in the right direction.
“They work hand-in-hand with families, helping them cope with the fear, uncertainty and difficult everyday reality of dementia. They can also offer help and advice to keep people in their homes for as long as possible.”
The Admiral Nurses will also work with existing local authority-funded Dementia Navigators who signpost people to dementia-friendly activities such as music sessions, holidays and dementia cafes.
Hilda Hayo, Chief Admiral Nurse and CEO, Dementia UK said: “We are delighted that six Admiral Nurses have been appointed to the Coventry and Rugby area, to not only help local families living with dementia but also to help train nursing students, so we have a future workforce of nurses who are qualified to support people with dementia and their carers.
“The Admiral Nursing model is proven to give carers the skills and emotional support they need to ensure the well-being of the person with dementia, and to avoid a crisis intervention.”
Steve O’Brien, Head of Nursing, Midwifery and Health education at Coventry University, said: “We’re very pleased to be playing our part in the delivery of the Admiral Nursing service within Coventry and Rugby.
“We’ve been working closely with our partners to tailor our teaching accordingly and thus ensure our future health professionals are equipped with the specialist skills and knowledge to provide up to date, expert support and assistance for those with dementia and their families and carers.”