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Value of dementia specialist nurse role to be evaluated

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One of the UK’s largest not-for-profit care home providers has been awarded a grant of £50,000 to assess the benefits of its dementia specialist nurse service.

The funding, from the Burdett Trust for Nursing, will be used for a one-year evaluation project reviewing the service provided by Admiral nurses for the Orders of St John Care Trust.

It will look into the benefits they provide for residents and staff, as well as identifying a business case and optimum case load.

The trust was one of the first care providers to employ their own Admiral nurses, who are normally provided through the charity Dementia UK.

Victoria Elliot, the trust’s principal care consultant for research and innovation, said the organisation knew “first-hand” how significantly the specialist nurses had improved the quality of support that care teams were able to provide to residents with dementia and their families. 

“It is timely that the role is now being evaluated independently and I hope it will be able to identify a business case for its extension to the rest of the care home sector,” she said.

Alan Gibbs is chair of trustees at the Burdett Trust for Nursing, which provides charitable grants for projects that are nurse-led and empower nurses to make significant improvements to patient care.

He said the Burdett Trust was “proud to support this systematic evaluation and dissemination” of the Admiral nurse role in the care home sector, which it believed would help establish “what works in improving dignity of care and drive those improvements forward within health and social care environments”.

Alan Gibbs

Alan Gibbs

The Association for Dementia Studies at the University of Worcester has been commissioned to evaluate the project.

Its head of research Dr Simon Evans said: “While there is much anecdotal evidence for the effectiveness of the service that Admiral nurses provide, there has been very little research into the role.

“We hope that our work will add to the case for making this valuable service more widely available.”

The Orders of St John Care Trust was established in 1991. It is a not for profit charity sponsored by the Sovereign Order of Malta and the Venerable Order of St John. 


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