Families in the Purbeck area of Dorset now have access to specialist dementia support, after local fundraising efforts paid for the appointment of a specialist nurse.
Dorset’s first community-based Admiral nurse service has been launched following a year of local charity campaigning and fundraising.
“I consider myself incredibly fortunate to be able to embrace this opportunity”
Rachel Murray, an experienced registered nurse, has been appointed as Purbeck’s first Admiral nurse.
Ms Murray works for Dorset Healthcare University NHS Foundation Trust and will be supported by Dementia UK, the charity that provides Admiral nursing with on-going training and development.
The new service has been developed and established as a three-way partnership between Dementia UK, Dorset Healthcare and the Dementia Friendly Communities in Swanage and Wareham.
The post has been funded for an initial period of three years jointly between the charity, trust and community fundraisers. A spokeswoman for Dementia UK told Nursing Times that £50,000 was raised by the community alone, which represents one-third of the costs.
The organisations said they planned to continue to work closely together to ensure families received specialist practical, emotional and therapeutic support.
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Speaking on her appointment, Ms Murray said: “I consider myself incredibly fortunate to be able to embrace this opportunity to develop the Purbeck Admiral Nursing Service.
“It is an honour to serve the Purbeck community and I welcome the chance to work collaboratively to help provide individual care and support to those living with dementia,” she said.
Alison Tallant, Purbeck locality manager for Dorset HealthCare, said: “It has been really exciting to have the opportunity to support the first community Admiral nurse post in Dorset.
She added: “Rachel is working as part of our integrated locality team, using her nursing skills in providing specialist support to families deeply affected by dementia.”
Dr Hilda Hayo, chief Admiral nurse at Dementia UK, said: “We would like to extend a heartfelt thank-you to everyone who has helped bring the first community-based Admiral nurse service to Purbeck.
“We are very pleased to be working in partnership with Dorset Healthcare and the Dementia Friendly Communities in Swanage and Wareham to provide families with the specialist dementia support that they need,” she said.
Jean Gibbs, family carer and chair of the Swanage Dementia Friendly Community, said: “The community have done so much to achieve this fantastic outcome of setting up the Admiral nurse service within 18 months of getting started on fundraising.
“We are absolutely delighted to welcome Rachel on board and to be working with Dementia UK and Dorset Healthcare to bring this much needed specialist dementia support to the area,” she added.