Four specialist dementia nurses tasked with helping families and reducing emergency hospital admissions have been appointed in the Crawley area.
The Admiral Nurses will prevent crises and help families manage dementia symptoms more effectively in the north of West Sussex, said a NHS spokesman.
Tracy Coles, Crawley, Horsham and Mid Sussex Admiral Nurse Team Leader, said: “For families living with dementia, having the support of the Admiral Nurses - with their unique clinical and social skills - will better enable them to make timely decisions and choices that are right for them.
“Working in a fully integrated way with other health and social care providers means we can help families manage the ever changing emotional and practical aspects of life.
“It’s not only my career but my passion - and my continuing motivation has been to work in dementia services.”
The team has been commissioned for three years. It is tasked with improving carers’ health and wellbeing, ensuring all carers have an opportunity to discuss end-of-life planning and complete a contingency plan and reducing admissions to acute services.
The spokesman for Crawley Clinical Commissioning Group said: “The Admiral Nursing service has been established in response to direct patient feedback and the need to improve the quality of care for those living with dementia in the area.
“With their unique clinical and social skills, the Admiral Nurses will work in an integrated manner with other health and social care providers in the area, including existing voluntary and community organisations, to ensure a unified service.
“Primary care, community care, social care, and the third sector can refer patients to the Admiral Nurses if the patient, or carer, has a need for extra support with managing symptoms of dementia.
“By responding to the needs of the whole family living with dementia, the Admiral Nurses will help to prevent crises and stop unnecessary admissions to care homes and hospitals.
“They will use a range of specialist interventions that help people live positively with the diagnosis and help families develop knowledge and skills to improve communication, and maintain relationships.”
Admiral Nurse Tina Eperon, who will work mostly in Crawley, said: “This is a wonderful opportunity to work collaboratively with other services to enhance the dementia journey for both the carer and the person with dementia.
“We are in a privileged position to be able to support those living with dementia.
“We’re very proud of the project already and we want to work to deliver an exemplary service.”