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National increase in Admiral Nurses to help meet demand – by Hilda Hayo, Chief Admiral Nurse

Dementia UK offers specialist one-to-one support and expert advice for people living with dementia through our world-class Admiral Nurses.  We work hand in hand with families, helping them cope with fear, uncertainty and the difficult everyday reality of dementia. Living with dementia can be an incredibly hard and lonely experience for both the person with dementia and their family. Admiral Nurses are an invaluable source of contact and support at particular points of difficulty in the dementia journey, including diagnosis, when the condition progresses, or when tough decisions need to be made, such as a family member entering residential care. Their aim is to build resilience; empowering family carers, and encouraging problem solving approaches.

We currently have 178 Admiral Nurses across the country, working in a variety of settings; including secondary mental health, care homes, acute hospitals, hospices, local authorities, charities and NHS Trusts and particularly within primary care. The number of Admiral Nurses continues to grow as the evidence of outcomes and cost savings to local health and social care services are demonstrated. Investing in Admiral Nurses is a long-term solution that builds resilience within families living with the effects of dementia.

We also have a national telephone and email helpline, Admiral Nursing Direct, which is open seven days a week and is for anyone with questions or concerns about someone they care for, or for themselves, or for professionals. All callers to the helpline have direct unlimited access to a qualified nurse. The nurse-led service is managed by expert and highly competent Admiral Nurses, and is considered a lifeline for families living with dementia who often contact the helpline with complex needs.

We have seen unprecedented growth in the number of calls to Direct over the last year, with a 35% increase in just 10 months of the number of contacts. If the current trend of calls to the helpline continue we are expected to see a 158% increase by the end of this year from 2013. To that end, we are pleased to be expanding the number of Admiral Nurses on Direct so that we are in a better position to respond to all the calls and emails we receive.

To find out more about the helpline go to:

Contact Admiral Nursing Direct by telephone on 0800 888 6678 or email at