An Admiral nurse has been appointed to support patients with dementia at Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust in a first for the county.
Dementia specialist nurse Angela Walter will be based at the trust’s North Devon District Hospital, said Dementia UK, the charity that trains and supports Admiral nurses.
“Helping our patients with dementia has been a real passion of mine”
She has already worked at the hospital for a number of years in different roles, most recently as a ward sister.
In her new role, she will become the first hospital-based Admiral nurse in Devon, which the trust said represented its latest development to improve dementia care.
Ms Walter said: “I am extremely proud to be an Admiral nurse. Helping our patients with dementia has been a real passion of mine, and I am really pleased to be able to focus on this now.
“I will be helping people to live well with dementia and giving carers and families the support I know can be so valuable to them,” she added.
“Now people in northern Devon can benefit from this expert specialist care too”
In her role, Ms Walter will also deliver education and training to staff at the trust to help them improve the care they give to patients with dementia and those who support them.
One of her first tasks, will see her looking to build up a directory of all the local groups and projects people have set up to support people with dementia, carers and families.
Before becoming an Admiral nurse, she helped to introduce the “This is me – getting to know me” document to the trust.
It can be used to gather valuable information about patients with dementia and helps staff to better understand the individual, for example, their hobbies and interests, what helps them to relax, and what things cause them to feel anxious can help staff deliver more personalised care.
Source: Dementia UK
Andrea Bell, the trust’s deputy director of nursing, said: “We have been doing a lot of work across the trust to improve the experience of people with dementia, their carers and their loved ones, and this new role is a great development.
“Admiral nurses have been a huge benefit to other communities across the country and now people in northern Devon can benefit from this expert specialist care too,” she said.
Dr Hilda Hayo, chief executive of Dementia UK and chief Admiral nurse, said: “I know that Angela will play an absolutely fantastic role in helping families in Devon face dementia.
“People often hear about the challenges that people with dementia go through, but it’s often the silent carers, such as partners and close relatives, who are in need of specialist support,” she said.
“Angela will be supporting both groups with her amazing breadth of dementia expertise and experience,” she added.