Morecambe Bay families affected by dementia are benefiting from new dementia specialist Admiral Nurse service at UHMBT
Written by John Williamson on 26/03/2023
University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT) has launched a new Admiral Nurse service in partnership with Dementia UK, the specialist dementia nursing charity, to support families affected by dementia in Morecambe Bay.
Dianne Smith, Dementia Matron for UHMBT based at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary (RLI), is now a Consultant Admiral Nurse, and Marina Woodburn and Sarah Doughty are Admiral Nurses on a job share basis at Furness General Hospital (FGH) in Barrow. A second Admiral Nurse for the RLI is in the process of being recruited.
Admiral Nurses are specialist dementia nurses who are continuously supported and developed by Dementia UK to provide life-changing support for families affected by all forms of dementia.
Dianne said: “It’s wonderful news that we now have this excellent service for people living with dementia here in Morecambe Bay.
“As Admiral Nurses we not only support our patients, but also create a care plan with a bespoke assessment for dementia right at the beginning a person’s time in hospital.
“Our recommendations are person-centred and include management of symptoms associated with dementia. If a person fits the assessment from a dementia perspective, we will put recommendations in the care plan and keep in touch with the person’s family and carers. We work with people with either diagnosed or undiagnosed dementia who are unsettled, agitated, confused and delirious, and at risk.”
As Admiral Nurses, Dianne, Sarah and Marina are helping individuals and families to manage complex needs, considering the person living with dementia and the people around them.
UHMBT’s strategy is to put patients first, and the Trust is committed to helping people living with dementia to stay independent for longer.
Dementia is a huge and growing health crisis, and is the leading cause of death in the UK. Every three minutes, someone in the UK develops dementia.
Admiral Nurses provide life-changing support and guidance for families affected by all forms of dementia in communities, hospitals and hospices, on the free national Dementia Helpline and in clinics.
The new Admiral Nurse service is up and running at UHMBT and a special ‘Dementia Experience Day’ for staff was held on Tuesday 7 March to launch the service.
Dianne said: “We are delighted that our Trust now has an Admiral Nurse service to support individuals and families living with dementia. This incredible support from Dementia UK will make such a difference to the communities we serve.
“At our Dementia Experience Day we formally introduced the Admiral Nursing team to colleagues from across UHMBT and the response has been phenomenal. Colleagues’ support for the service is overwhelmingly positive and people living with dementia, families and carers have welcomed our new service. The Dementia Action Day was also an opportunity for colleagues to learn from clinical experts about how people with dementia who access our services may need bespoke care planning and support from us as Admiral Nurses.”
Dr Hilda Hayo, Chief Admiral Nurse and Chief Executive at Dementia UK, said: “The last few years have placed increasing pressure on local services that support families with dementia. This has left many families struggling and unable to cope with no one to turn to for support.
“Admiral Nurses understand the challenges faced by families affected by dementia; they help people with dementia to stay independent for longer and they support the people caring for them so that they have the strength to cope with the bad days and the energy to enjoy the good days. It is critical that we have more Admiral Nurses across Morecambe Bay to support those who need it the most.
“We are pleased to welcome Dianne, Marina and Sarah to the Admiral Nurse team and look forward to watching them excel in this role.”
If you need advice or support on living with dementia, contact Dementia UK’s Admiral Nurse Dementia Helpline on 0800 888 6678 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The Helpline is staffed by experienced Admiral Nurses. You can also book a free video or phone appointment to get expert dementia support from an Admiral Nurse. Find out more at dementiauk.org/book-an-appointment.