Clinical commissioning groups in Norfolk have agreed to co-fund a pilot scheme for Admiral nurses with the charity that runs the service nationally for two years.
As a result, six Admiral nurses are set to be recruited, to provide tailor-made services for South Norfolk, Norwich and North Norfolk.
“This is a positive step for local dementia services, which could have a big impact”
Each of the three area’s CCGs has agreed to invest £50,000 a year, which will be matched by national charity Dementia UK, bringing the total investment over two years to £300,000.
This investment has also been made possible by the dedication of local fundraising groups which have campaigned tirelessly on top of pledging to raise significant sums.
The service is expected to start in the summer. Guidance on how referrals to the service will be made will be established once the nurses are in post.
Like elsewhere in the country, the Admiral nurses will offer specialist support to families affected by dementia with the most complex needs.
They will work in partnership with the existing services to ensure families get the best help possible when they need it, identifying the appropriate resources to meet their requirements.
“We will be working with the CCGs… over the next two years… with the aim of enabling a long-term sustainable Admiral nurse service”
Zena Aldridge, regional Admiral nurse at Dementia UK, said: “I am really pleased that the CCGs in central Norfolk have committed to work in partnership with Dementia UK to deliver much needed specialist support to families affected by dementia.
“We will be working with the CCGs and other key stakeholders including service users over the next two years to ensure that an effective service is delivered and to explore routes of funding with the aim of enabling a long-term sustainable Admiral nurse service,” she said.
The charity said it would work with South Norfolk CCG and local organisations and community groups to identify how future or additional funding can be identified after the initial two-year period.
This was also on the clear understanding that if local people wanted the service to expand, then any additional funding may need to come from either the community or the third sector, said the CCG.
Meanwhile, Norwich CCG is building the new Admiral nursing pilot service as part of a three-tier approach to supporting local families.
The Admiral nurses in Norwich would offer support to those families with higher needs or a sudden crisis, said the CCG.
It said it was also planning to make further funding available for dementia support workers who can support people with less complex needs.
In addition, it said it wanted to look at the advice and advocacy services it funds in Norwich to ensure they continue to help as many people as possible and work closely with the dementia support workers and Admiral nurses.
Care minister Norman Lamb
In the North Norfolk CCG area, the service will provide two full-time Admiral nurses and will work with Dementia UK to roll out the same three-tiered approach to the North Norfolk area.
The news was welcomed Norman Lamb, MP for North Norfolk and Liberal Democrat spokesman on health policy.
The former health minister said: “This is a very welcome partnership between Dementia UK and CCGs in Norfolk.
“I’m delighted that the CCGs have gone for this,” he said. “We had a really constructive meeting with the North Norfolk CCG, when we argued the case for these new Admiral nurses. They responded constructively and have made it happen.
“This is a positive step for local dementia services, which could have a big impact on the quality of life of people living with dementia in Norfolk – and their loved ones,” he added.