The first GP-based Admiral nurse service has been set up in Suffolk, it has been announced.
The new service, the first of its kind in the county, will be available to all families registered at Sole Bay Health Centre in Reydon.
“I am really looking forward to working alongside families living with dementia”
Dr Castle and Partners at Sole Bay Health Centre has appointed Melinda Mortimer to the role, in partnership with Dementia UK and Sole Bay Care Fund.
Ms Mortimer will play an “essential role” within the Suffolk community by helping families face the most challenging cases of dementia, noted those behind the initiative.
They said the service would also provide support to those families who have not yet received a dementia diagnosis but who are seeing dementia symptoms in a relative.
Ms Mortimer has seven years of experience in supporting families living with dementia both as an Admiral nurse with the Royal British Legion and within a memory service in a foundation trust in London. She also has experience of working within care home settings.
“I am so delighted and proud for our community to have the first GP based Admiral nurse”
The new role will expand on this experience, particularly as she will be developing a better understanding, and confidence, among other healthcare professionals as well as supporting Southwold and surrounding villages to become “dementia friendly”.
Ms Mortimer said: “I feel very privileged and I am really looking forward to working alongside families living with dementia in Southwold and the surrounding areas.”
Cathy Ryan, community matron for Dr Castle and Partners said: “I am so delighted and proud for our community to have the first GP based Admiral nurse in Suffolk.
“It has been a personal crusade for me to make this happen, as I cared for my own mother with dementia for 10 years, and there appeared to be little support when I needed it,” she said.
New specialist dementia nurse service launched in Suffolk
“I then discovered Admiral nurses, but there were none in Suffolk, at that time and so I vowed I would do everything I could to support my patients raising the funds to have their own Admiral nurse,” she added.
Sole Bay Health Centre and Sole Bay Care Fund has partnered with Dementia UK to provide the service. Dementia UK will continually train, develop and support Mindy in her new role.
Charlotte Harris, Dementia UK’s business development officer for the region, said: “Mindy will have a huge impact on the local area.
“With her background in community care, she will allow those diagnosed to be cared for in the comfort of their homes for longer and will also greatly improve the wellbeing of carers,” she added.