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CCG seeks to decommission dementia nursing service


A North East clinical commissioning group plans to decommission a specialist dementia nursing service and replace it with a carer support service.

Hull Clinical Commissioning Group has said it will decommission the current service using Admiral nurses, supplied by Dementia UK, and hosted by Humber Foundation Trust.

“It seems very short sighted to close this service”

Lucy Frost

It claimed that a replacement carer support service would support more families and patients from April next year.

Admiral nurses work with patients and families to give practical and emotional support,and help coordinate different parts of the health and social care system. The service in Hull has three nurses and one administrator.

In a statement, Hull CCG said the new scheme was under procurement, but the specification would include specialist nursing to support carers with “a larger, more comprehensive support service”.

However, it added: “The service specification does not require the provider to employ a specific skill mix within the workforce. The commissioner focus is on the quality of outcomes such as service delivery and patient or carer experience.”

The CCG said 1,861 patients in Hull had a dementia diagnosis as of March and it expects demand for support to rise by 42% by 2030.

The 77 families using Admiral nurses will be supported by the new service, it added.

“We need to be able to provide expert support, advice and guidance to many more dementia carers”

Hull CCG

Lucy Frost, a dementia champion and nurse specialist at Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals Trust, said: “It seems very short sighted to close this service.”

“Those 77 people may have the most intense need – and the specialised support from an admiral nurse can reduce risk of hospital admission, provide continuity of care, play a role in supporting a person to stay in their own home for longer – by supporting the family carer with their role and helping to ease the carer burden.

“To my mind, the statement from Hull CCG glosses over the potential harms of taking away this service,” she said.

Dementia UK said in a statement that it was disappointed with the decision.

Hilda Hayo, chief Admiral nurse and chief executive of the charity, said: “Dementia UK is actively seeking the support of an alternative organisation to host the service.

“Our priority is the families who are living with dementia and we are committed to providing them with an excellent level of specialist dementia care through Admiral nurses and to ensure this is continued once the current CCG funding ends,” she said.

A CCG spokeswoman said: “We need to be able to provide expert support, advice and guidance to many more dementia carers in Hull than the level currently supported by the Admiral nursing service.

“We are commissioning an integrated carer support service, working closely with professionals in the community and hospital, so that there is one point of contact for carers – and they receive a holistic service, including the specialist skills required for dementia,” she added.


Readers' comments (11)

  • Nursing Homes have been delivering Dementia care for decades with full Nursing care

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  • This is horrendous! No doubt the highly skilled admiral nurses will be replaced by minimally qualified professionals or administrative staff, offering advice, signposting rather than teaching families how to cope. This ageism at its worst at a time when all parties claimed they were aiming for parity of mental and physical services. Our most vulnerable who have already paid for their care are being systematically neglected

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  • "The service specification does not require the provider to employ a specific skill mix within the workforce". What a wonderful way of saying "we have gone for the cheapest option so do not expect anyone with appropriate qualifications!"

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  • I agree with Carol above - SO obvious. Oh dear.

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  • there is a need to increase dementia nursing services staffed by specialist personnel to keep up with growing demand - not reduce them! it is a very hard job for those who are untrained and even harder on the patients.

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  • I agree with all of these comments. Can we have a like button as on facebook please to show support for the comments.

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  • This is disappointing. There is the opportunity to respond to the increasing challenge of managing dementia with provision of a quality service for this vulnerable group and their families, provided by skilled nurses. This opportunity is being pruned in favour of the cheaper option. The value of the professional nurse is sadly underestimated.

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  • Typical CCG action. "we need to cut costs, oh well the dementia nurses can go, they're not a vital service. We an replace them with non qualified staff". 2 FACTS: where there are nurses involved in patient care there are less deaths; and nurses are key to co-ordinate care for patients.
    There is a need for both nurses and non qualified support workers. I know, I'm a community nurse, ex nursing home nurse and my own father has dementia.

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  • I agree with everybody but Julia Nichols point about not valuing professional nursing is nursing's own fault in great part. When we strove to make nursing a profession way back when, we were not keen to see caring for elderly people and what we dismissed as "basic nursing care" important for professionals. Although many of the finest nursing developments have taken place in long-stay or dementia care settings, the speciality was largely seen as a Cinderella service. This doesn't justify what is happening now but lets not forget what aspects of nursing we now value

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  • How many nurses in dementia and nursing care homes actually know anything about delivering skilled, specific dementia care to those with those suffering from dementia? What I saw of the care for my mother was unlawful, ignorant and cruel over a long period of time. The NHS CCG and the LA was deliberately negligent and unfortunately my mother was a fighter and fought back. The CQC still don't understand the difference between activity and outcomes. I'd like them all to be subjected to the same torment that she was with no chance of communication or skilled compassion.

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