Honiton dementia alliance set £150k target to employ Admiral Nurse

PUBLISHED: 09:19 13 July 2017

Heather Penwarden, Pat Perryman and Min Rennolds of the newly formed Honiton Dementia Action Alliance group. Ref mhh 5541-03-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

Heather Penwarden, Pat Perryman and Min Rennolds of the newly formed Honiton Dementia Action Alliance group. Ref mhh 5541-03-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

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An Admiral Nurse is a highly-skilled registered nurse who provides specialist and compassionate support for people with dementia from diagnosis to end-of-life.

An ambitious three-year campaign to bring a crucial specialist health service to Honiton is set to be launched in the near future.

Honiton Dementia Action Alliance (HDAA) is the driving force behind the project to help people living with dementia and their carers by employing an Admiral Nurse - but £150,000 is needed to make the group’s vision a reality.

An Admiral Nurse is a highly-skilled registered nurse who provides specialist and compassionate support for people with dementia from diagnosis to end-of-life.

Heather Penwarden, who leads HDAA said: “With more than 240 people diagnosed living with dementia in our community, there is a real need for expert care and support at home. To secure our own Admiral Nurse will serve to enhance the wonderful work our community already does in helping to support people and families to live well with dementia. We are aware that setting out to raise such a large sum will be quite a challenge but we really do feel that an Admiral Nurse will provide vital support to many people with dementia and their families in Honiton.”

The process behind securing the service was explained to HDAA at a meeting on Monday.

Ms Johnstone said the first step to getting an Admiral Nurse is to identify a need for one, then rally the community behind the project and find a location for the nurse to operate.

She added: “This is no small undertaking but there’s a huge amount of support, enthusiasm and commitment need here in Honiton.”

Ms Johnstone said the right place needs to be found for the nurse to be based - known as a host organisation.

She said: “This is somewhere where he or she will fit into a team that makes logical sense.

“For example, the nurse sits within the community health and social care team so they can work alongside district nurses, community matrons and others.”

Speaking after the meeting, Mrs Penwarden said: “We are very encouraged by what we heard.

“The meeting was well-attended by various community groups and people in the town, with ten people signing up to be part of a steering group to drive this forward.

“We now have several formalities to undertake - including looking at online fundraising and speaking to potential host organisations.

“We are looking for support from a range of groups and individuals to get on board with this major campaign so if you would like to organise an event to support this great cause, please get in touch with HDAA.”

If the fundraising goal is met, the nurse will be provided by Dementia UK and work within the local community NHS service.

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