New nursing service launches for Shropshire families living with dementia

1 December 2022

This month a new nursing service has been launched to help support families living across Shropshire affected by dementia.

The service will consist of a team of four specialist dementia nurses called Admiral Nurses who will provide life-changing support to families affected by all forms of dementia. Their expertise can help people living with dementia stay independent for longer – and support the people caring or them so that they will have the strength to cope with the bad days, and the energy to enjoy the good days.

The service will be launched as part of the Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin’s Dementia Transformation Programme and is hosted by Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Integrated Care Board in collaboration with Shropshire Primary Care Networks (PCNs), Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust and Dementia UK.

Clinical Lead for Mental Health, Dr Priya George said: "Getting a dementia diagnosis can be a huge shock to patients and their families, who often struggle to accept what is happening and the difficulties it brings.

"This small team can make a big impact, not just for patients but for carers who can become isolated and highly stressed. Admiral Nurses make a real difference, offering advice and linking families up with respite care and other services."

Emma Butler, Shropshire Admiral Nurse Team Leader, said: “The Shropshire Admiral Nurses are extremely excited to launch this specialist service for families in the county who are experiencing difficulties due to the impact and effects of dementia.

“We are a team of nurses with backgrounds in either adult or mental health and a passion for working in the field of dementia. There has long been a need for Admiral Nurses in the area and we are delighted to be an integral part of the new Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin Dementia vision to positively improve the lives of people affected by dementia.”

Karen Oldham, who has experienced the support of the Telford & Wrekin Admiral Nurse service first-hand, said: “I have had support from Cheryl, my Admiral Nurse for two years now. My Dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in February 2020. I was so relieved when I was referred to the Admiral Nurses team. I had no idea they existed until Dad got poorly. Meeting with Cheryl on a regular basis is so helpful, and knowing she is there if I ever need her, between our appointments too. Although awareness of Dementia seems to be improving, it is still not widely understood, which can leave you feeling quite lonely, at the hardest times.

“It is so beneficial to have Cheryl to talk to, as she understands, and offers support which is really caring but also from such an experienced place. Loving and supporting someone with Dementia is indescribably hard at times, and I am very grateful for the support I get from the Admiral Nurse team.”

The service offers a range of support: skilled assessments of the needs of family carers and individuals with dementia, advice to help carers develop skills in giving care, psychological support, referral to treatment and support services, guidance on how to access services, liaison with other organisations to ensure that families obtain coordinated support and therapeutic, psycho-educational and social support groups for family carers.

Telford & Wrekin have had Admiral Nurses since 2009 who have supported over 4000 families during this time. Four new Admiral Nurses have been appointed by Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust, one for each of the Shropshire Primary Care Networks who will join the existing three Admiral Nurses within Telford and Wrekin.

More than 944,000 people are living with dementia in the UK – and this number is set to increase to 1.1million by 2030.

Referrals to Admiral Nurse service can be made through a GP.

Page last updated 1 December 2022