Colchester Hospital are ensuring the families of people with dementia can stay connected to their loved ones with the launch of new specialist service.
To improve care offered to people with dementia and their families or carers, former dementia care nurse specialists Maisey Dear and Vanessa Mclean have become Admiral Nurses.
Supported and trained by the charity Demetia UK, Admiral Nurses are specialist dementia nurses offering emotional support, clinical expertise and practical advice.
Vanessa and Maisey receive referrals from colleagues when a patient has been admitted to the hospital and their family is experiencing difficulties or struggling to cope. They offer one-to-one support and expert guidance, as well as techniques to help with areas such as communication or managing behaviour changes associated with dementia.
The pair are among just 12 Admiral Nurses working in acute hospitals across the country, and will also offer training, education and advice to their colleagues at Colchester.
“Dementia can be very distressing for families and carers, and when their loved one comes into hospital it is usually because they are in crisis,” said Maisey, who has worked at the hospital for 20 years. “Our job is to listen to their concerns and offer them help with coping strategies or onward referral to other agencies which could offer further support.
“Sometimes, just taking the time to sit and chat to someone and answer their questions can help them feel less alone and isolated, and also shows them that there is support out there. We firmly believe that supporting the family helps them to look after the patient more effectively, and are very excited about the difference this new role will make.”
Vanessa, who has worked at Colchester Hospital since 2008, said: “We are very proud to be able to offer the Admiral Nurse service in Colchester and hope that we can make a real difference to people’s lives.
“Being a carer is really hard work, and is even more difficult when you are caring for someone with a cognitive impairment. They are real unsung heroes and it’s vitally important that we do whatever we can to support them, which is what the role of Admiral Nurse is all about.”
For more information about Admiral Nurses, visit www.dementiauk.org/get-support/admiral-nursing