A special event at Durlston Castle in Swanage marked the launch of Dorset’s first community-based Admiral Nurse service. It celebrated a year of tireless campaigning and fundraising by the Dementia Friendly Communities in Swanage and Wareham, to bring local families living with dementia the specialist support they need.
Rachel Murray, an experienced registered nurse with wide-ranging knowledge of dementia care, has been appointed Purbeck’s first Admiral Nurse. When things become challenging or difficult, Admiral Nurses work alongside people with dementia, their families and carers, providing one-to-one support, expert guidance and practical solutions.
“I consider myself incredibly fortunate to be able to embrace this opportunity to develop the Purbeck Admiral Nursing Service,” said Rachel.
“It is an honour to serve the Purbeck community and I welcome the chance to work collaboratively to help provide individual care and support to those living with dementia.”
Rachel works for Dorset HealthCare and is supported by Dementia UK, the charity that provides Admiral Nursing with on-going training and development. The service has been developed and established as a three-way partnership between Dementia UK, Dorset HealthCare and the Dementia Friendly communities in Swanage and Wareham. They will continue to work closely together to ensure families receive specialist practical, emotional and therapeutic support in order to avert avoidable crises and continue in their caring role.
Alison Tallant, Purbeck locality manager for Dorset HealthCare, said, “It has been really exciting to have the opportunity to support the first community Admiral Nurse post in Dorset, and we are delighted to have the support of Dementia UK. Members of the Dementia Friendly communities in Purbeck have been amazing – raising funding for this post and making it happen. Rachel is working as part of our Integrated Locality Team, using her nursing skills in providing specialist support to families deeply affected by dementia, helping them to cope with many different challenges.”
Dr Hilda Hayo, chief Admiral Nurse at Dementia UK, said, “We would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has helped bring the first community-based Admiral Nurse service to Purbeck. The unique dementia expertise and experience an Admiral Nurse brings is a lifeline – their specialist support enables families who have complex needs to better cope with the difficult everyday reality of living with dementia.”
Jean Gibbs, family carer and chairman of the Swanage Dementia Friendly Community, added, “The community have done so much to achieve this fantastic outcome of setting up the Admiral Nurse service within 18 months of getting started on fundraising. I feel privileged to be part of such a passionate and determined group and I’d like to say a massive thank you to everyone who made this happen. We are absolutely delighted to welcome Rachel on board and to be working with Dementia UK and Dorset Healthcare to bring this much-needed specialist dementia support to the area.”
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