MP gives his support to calls for specialist dementia nurses in Fenland

MP Steve Barclay.

MP Steve Barclay. - Credit: Archant

An MP is backing calls for specialist dementia nurses to be introduced in Fenland.

North East Cambs MP Steve Barclay has been contacted by Shirley Clements, district nurse team lead, to suggest Admiral Nurses could provide an essential bridge between health and social care services, which she says is missing in this area.

Established as a result of the experiences of family carers, Admiral Nurses are named after Joseph Levy who had vascular dementia and was known as Admiral Joe because of his keen interest in sailing.

She explained that district nurses do their best to help but with busy caseloads it is often difficult and they are not specialists on dementia.

Admiral Nurses could provide useful support for district nurses in dealing with dementia patients, she added.

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Admiral Nurses join up the different parts of the health and social care system, and enable the needs of family carers and people with dementia to be addressed in a co-ordinated way.

They are often funded by the Clinical Commissioning Group and Mr Barclay is supporting Mrs Clements’ call in getting this valuable service provided locally.

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The service can greatly reduce the burden on the NHS. An evaluation of an Admiral Nurse pilot in Norfolk identified savings of more than £440,000 for health and social care in the area in just the first 10 months.

It reduced contact time of affected families’ with GPs, nurses and social workers and avoided unnecessary hospital admissions and care home costs.

The majority of Admiral Nurses work within the NHS supporting people in the community. However, Admiral Nurses also work in other care settings such as care homes and in the community supported by voluntary organisations.

Mr Barclay said: “Caring for someone with dementia is very difficult and often distressing for relatives and loved ones.

“Having expert support from an Admiral Nurse could make a huge difference not only to the carer’s situation but also to the dementia patient too.

“I would like to see the area’s clinical commissioning group introduce this obviously invaluable service in our area. It will not only help patients and carers, but also reduce the very busy caseloads of our district nurses.”

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