Families across the Black Country who are living with dementia are benefiting from tailored support thanks to the Admiral Nurse Service at Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.
The Trust has worked with Dementia UK, the dementia specialist nurse charity, to launch the service which now works across Dudley, Walsall, Wolverhampton and Sandwell.
Following the growth of the service, there are now seven specialist dementia nurses, known as Admiral Nurses, working across the four Black Country boroughs, who bring a mixture of skills from learning disabilities, mental health, and general nursing backgrounds.
The team has also recently been joined by a Diverse Admiral Nurse Lead, Sunita Devi, who will develop and lead a service to support families affected by dementia from diverse communities across the Black Country.
The service took part in a dementia awareness event in Walsall last week to highlight the crucial work they carry out in the community and to raise awareness of the vital service they provide.
Dementia is a huge and growing health crisis, with 944,000 people living with the condition in the UK – and this number is set to increase to 1.1m by 2030.
Admiral Nurses, who are continually supported and developed by Dementia UK, work on the free national Admiral Nurse Dementia Helpline, face-to-face and virtual clinics, and in the community, in GP practices, hospitals and care homes. They support families with the many complex challenges of the condition, providing free, specialist advice, support and understanding, whenever it’s needed.
Luke Warby, Regional Account Manager for West Midlands and Wales 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 unable to cope with no one to turn to for support.
“This is why we are so pleased to see families affected by dementia benefiting from the expansion of Admiral Nurse services across the Black Country to plug this gap and support local families – particularly those from underserved communities - who are urgently in need of this specialist support.”
Claire Adams, Admiral Nurse Clinical Lead at Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said: “It's been an absolute privilege to be here from the start and watch the Admiral Nursing teams evolve into a Black Country wide service. Our lovely team of nurses have a wealth of clinical experience and represent all adult nursing backgrounds.
“Every day, Admiral Nurses help people affected by dementia have the best life possible for as long as possible. We work in partnership with statutory, voluntary and locality services to support the communities of Wolverhampton, Walsall, Sandwell and Dudley.”
Hannah Worrall was supported by Carol Devaney, one of the Trust’s Admiral Nurses, after her dad was diagnosed with dementia.
Describing the impact Carol made and the support she provided to the whole family, Hannah said: "Our Admiral Nurse Carol came along just at the right time. She guided us through services, legalities, and decision-making moments for Dad, providing us with information and support during one of the most challenging times of our lives.
“As a family all our focus was on caring for Dad - Carol validated our thoughts and feelings, recognising the stress we were under as a family.
“She helped us to recognise everyone in the family as being equally important, enabling us to get care in to support Dad and therefore feeling more supported as a family.
“Admiral Nurses walk beside you on what can be a hard and lonely road, and we have really appreciated Carol and all her support."