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Admiral nurse service launched at Swindon’s Great Western Hospital

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A new service will see a team of dedicated specialist dementia nurses working across community and hospital settings in Wiltshire.

Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has introduced two new Admiral nursing posts to provide specialist support to people with dementia and their carers and families.

“I hope I can do right by the thousands of families living with dementia in the area”

Charlie Duhig

The nurses will provide one-to-one support, practical advice and expert guidance that helps people face dementia with more confidence and less fear.

Nurses Charlie Duhig and Tim Allen will be supporting the complex needs of Swindon families living with dementia either in people’s homes, community support groups or in the hospital setting.

The new service is only the second Admiral nursing service nationally to bridge the gap between hospital and community support.

Ms Duhig is an advocate of relationship-centred approaches to dementia care. Prior to starting her role at Great Western, she was a “memory nurse” with one of her achievements being the development of a nurse diagnostic service that reduced waiting times from up to nine months to six weeks.

Within her role, she will ensure that all families have access to the best possible dementia care from the moment they come into the hospital through to discharge. It will also see her doing community outreach work.

She said: “There’s still so much uncertainty around dementia, for the families who don’t know where they can turn to in times of need to healthcare professionals who need guidance on how to support dementia patients in hospital.

Dementia UK

Charlie Duhig and Tim Allen

Admiral nurses Charlie Duhig and Tim Allen, Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

“I am so honoured to be starting this position and I hope I can do right by the thousands of families living with dementia in the area,” she said.

Mr Allen will have more of a community-focused outreach role, with some hospital support. He will support families who are at high risk of being readmitted to hospital due to complex needs.

He comes from a 16-year career in Avon and Wiltshire Partnership Trust and has a strong background in setting up new services.

Mr Allen said: “Having a dual role in a community and hospital setting is key to making sure that there are more joined-up approaches to care, from the hospital to the home and vice versa, for families facing dementia.”

Dr Hilda Hayo, chief executive and chief Admiral nurse at Dementia UK, added: “The fact that we have two Admiral nurses working in community and hospital settings jointly is a new but important approach in dementia care.

“We know that families managing transitions of care can often be caught in challenging situations and it exerts a huge emotional and physical toll on them. Charlie and Tim’s invaluable work will help them greatly,” she said.

Dementia UK currently has 264 Admiral nurses and has set a target of having 300 in place by 2030.

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