An Admiral nurse has been appointed by Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Trust to help patients with dementia and their carers.
Pam Kehoe becomes the first Admiral nurse in an acute hospital in the North of England, and only the fourth in the acute sector in the country.
“Admiral nurses represent the gold standard of care I want to see available for everyone we care for”
The appointment is the result of a partnership between the trust and the charity Dementia UK.
As a mental health nurse with over 25 years’ experience, Ms Kehoe will give tailored practical and emotional support to hospital patients with dementia and their carers.
Since January, and before the creation of her new post, she has worked at the trust as lead nurse for dementia and the frail elderly.
Prior to joining Tameside, she led a Manchester-wide programme supporting the physical health needs of people with dementia and their families to reduce inappropriate admissions.
Ms Kehoe, 52, said her new post gave her the “privileged position of being able to support people with dementia and their loved ones in a meaningful and proactive way”.
“It is such an honour to have the opportunity to be part of the fantastic journey that Tameside is taking with staff, patients and the local communities to make sure their views are being heard and listened to,” she said.
“Having Admiral Nurses in an acute hospital environment is proven to minimise the stress and distress that some patients with a diagnosis of dementia”
Meanwhile, trust chief executive Karen James said: “Admiral nurses represent the gold standard of care I want to see available for everyone we care for.”
Hilda Hayo, chief Admiral nurse and chief executive of Dementia UK, applauded the trust for its “foresight” in making the appointment.
“Having Admiral Nurses in an acute hospital environment is proven to minimise the stress and distress that some patients with a diagnosis of dementia – and their family – feel when they are in a hospital environment,” she said.
“They also provide health and social care staff with training and coping strategies to empower them to work confidently and effectively with patients with dementia,” she said.
Ms Kehoe has held a specialist dementia nurse post since 1997, when she was tasked with leading and developing a team to support people with dementia who presented with challenges for those caring for them, and who had complex needs.
In 2002, she took up the post of Admiral nurse for the central area of Manchester – later becoming the practice development Admiral nurse for the North West of England.