The number of dementia nurses is set to increase by 50% at a national charity, which has called for the shortage in these specialist roles to be addressed “urgently”.
Dementia UK aims to boost its supply of Admiral Nurses – who work with NHS providers and commissioners to provide practical and emotional support for family carers and people with dementia - from 140 to 210 by 2016.
The charity said the reduction of specialist dementia roles was a “real concern” at a time when there was a growing number of people affected by the condition.
“The government, health and social services, and charities must work together, to ensure people living with the effects of dementia are able to receive necessary specialist advice”
It warned that families in some parts of the country have no access to post-diagnostic dementia support and that the geographical provision of its own Admiral Nurses was “patchy”.
Dementia care is often provided by staff who have not been trained in the specialist skills and interventions needed to help families manage, claimed the organisation.
The charity also pointed to the ageing workforce within the community - a setting where the majority of its Admiral Nurses currently work - and called for “robust plans” from the government and education providers to ensure enough staff are recruited, trained and employed in this area.
Hilda Hayo, chief admiral nurse and chief executive of Dementia UK said: “The government, health and social services, and charities must work together, to ensure people living with the effects of dementia are able to receive the necessary specialist advice and support to enable them to live as well as possible after the diagnosis.”
She added that the charity had launched this year’s Time for a Cuppa event, which runs from 1 to 8 March, to help raise funds for its additional nurses.
“We must increase the number of Admiral Nurses – through fundraising events like Time for a Cuppa – to be able to provide an even geographical spread of specialist dementia nurses across the country, so all people receive an excellent level of dementia care and support regardless of their location,” said Ms Hayo.