A new Admiral Nurse service is to be launched in central Norfolk.
NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups have agreed to co-fund a pilot service with Dementia UK for two years.
It means six Admiral Nurses can be recruited, to provide tailor-made services for South Norfolk, Norwich and North Norfolk. Each CCG has agreed to invest £50,000 a year and this will be matched pound for pound by Dementia UK, bringing the total investment over two years to £300,000. This investment has also been made possible by the dedication of local fundraising groups who have campaigned tirelessly on top of pledging to raise significant sums.
The service is expected to start in the summer. Guidance on how referrals to the service will be made will be established once the nurses are in post.
Dementia UK is the national charity that provides specialist dementia support for families through Admiral Nursing. Admiral Nurses work alongside families, offering them the one-to-one support, expert guidance and practical solutions they need to live more positively with dementia.
The Admiral Nurses will offer specialist support to families affected by dementia with the most complex needs. They will work in partnership with the existing services to ensure families get the best help possible when they need it, identifying the appropriate resources to meet their requirements.
Zena Aldridge, Regional Admiral Nurse at Dementia UK, said: "I am really pleased that the CCGs in central Norfolk have committed to work in partnership with Dementia UK to deliver much needed specialist support to families affected by dementia.
"We will be working with the CCGs and other key stakeholders including service users over the next two years to ensure that an effective service is delivered and to explore routes of funding with the aim of enabling a long term sustainable Admiral Nurse Service."
The news has been welcomed by the MP for North Norfolk, Norman Lamb. He said: "This is a very welcome partnership between Dementia UK and CCGs in Norfolk.
"I'm delighted that the CCGs have gone for this. We had a really constructive meeting with the North Norfolk CCG, when we argued the case for these new Admiral Nurses. They responded constructively and have made it happen.
"This is a positive step for local dementia services which could have a big impact on the quality of life of people living with dementia in Norfolk – and their loved ones."
NHS South Norfolk CCG and Dementia UK will work collaboratively with local organisations and community groups to identify how future or additional funding can be identified after the initial two year period. This is also on the clear understanding that if local people want the service to expand then any additional funding may need to come from either the local community or the third sector.
Dr Liz Waddy, NHS South Norfolk CCG's dementia lead said: "The service is small in scale at this stage, however we have had fruitful conversations with community groups who say they would be prepared to raise further money if necessary."
NHS Norwich CCG is building the new Admiral Nursing pilot service as part of a three-tier approach to supporting local families:
- The Admiral Nurses in Norwich would offer support to those families with higher needs or a sudden crisis.
- The CCG is planning to make further funding available for dementia support workers who can support people with less complex needs.
- The CCG also wants to look at the advice and advocacy services it funds in Norwich to ensure they continue to help as many people as possible and work closely with the dementia support workers and Admiral Nurses.
Dr David Goldser, NHS Norwich CCG's dementia lead said: "Working with Dementia UK we greatly value our access to Admiral Nurses, who provide expert advice and support to people with dementia and their families.
"In addition, the Regional Admiral Nurse has played an important role in providing dementia training to our doctors and GP practice staff and helps us plan to further improvements to NHS dementia services in Norwich."
NHS North Norfolk CCG – The service will provide two full time Admiral Nurses for the North Norfolk population and will work with the charity to roll out the three tiered approach, mentioned above, to the North Norfolk area.
Antek Lejk, North Norfolk and South Norfolk CCG Chief Executive said: "Supporting carers of people with Dementia is a priority for the CCG and is in line with our recently adopted, Supported Care Programme. It is important that CCG's can work together to deliver solutions to the public which best fits their need and follows the outline of the STP.