Good News About Admiral Nurses
Some Chronicle readers may remember a series of 10 articles on ‘The Challenge of Dementia’ that I submitted in 2018/19.
There are currently about 900,000 people living with dementia in the UK (plus a further percentage of the population who are undiagnosed). One in fourteen over the age of 65 is living with the disease in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland (LL&R).
Those living with dementia and their carers have faced an even bigger challenge during the last two years with the Covid pandemic. Support services were reduced or closed down. This meant the isolation that so often comes with dementia diagnosis became acute and debilitating for many families and individuals. As we come out of the pandemic and all the restrictions are lifted, I bring you some good news.
Community Admiral Nurses
Admiral Nurses, specialist dementia nurses, are beginning to make a big positive impact on dementia care and support in LL&R. Two community Admiral Nurses started in pilot positions in September 2020, working from GP practices in the north and south of Leicestershire. (A community Admiral Nurse service has been in place in Rutland for four years.) There are also two Admiral Nurses at the Leicester Royal Infirmary.
Community Admiral Nurses have multiple, positive, impacts. They enhance the quality of life and well being of families affected by dementia, and also provide face-to-face, carer centred support. Their support can help to avoid crisis points and hospital admissions for the more challenging cases. With this support, loved ones with dementia can remain at home, delaying long-term care home placements.
Admiral Nurses have become embedded in our health service and have access to all the other local care professionals. By taking on referrals they take the load off GPs and hospitals. They improve case management and the coordination of support, both clinical and non-clinical. With their high level of expertise and training in dementia care they can increase their fellow professionals understanding of dementia and its effects. It is hoped that Admiral Nurses will become as commonplace as MacMillan Nurses who have enhanced cancer care over so many years.
The charity, Dementia UK, trains, supports and places Admiral Nurses with hosts. These can be Hospitals, GP practices, Hospices and Care Homes. They provide pump priming funding for an initial period, with a view to the host taking on the nurse long-term. There are also plans for two more community Admiral Nurses in Leicestershire this year.
Kibworth & Fleckney Rotary Club have been raising ring-fenced funds for Leicestershire Admiral Nurses for Dementia UK in the last four years. Kibworth Bowls Club has now joined in the fundraising with their Admiral Nurse Vase competition.
If you would like to donate to the fund there is a JustGiving page, www.justgiving.com/fundraising/leicestershirefundraisinggroup
If you would like further information please contact: Graham Thompson