Dementia nursing services facing axe in two regions
Specialist dementia care being withdrawn due to financial pressures.
Specialist dementia nursing services in Nottingham and Norfolk are being withdrawn due to financial pressures.
Admiral Nursing services in the affected areas, which provide practical, clinical and emotional support to families living with dementia, are being disbanded early in the new year.
Two Admiral Nurses are affected by the plans by CityCare, a social enterprise that provides and funds the service in Nottingham.
It is hoped these nurses will be deployed elsewhere within CityCare, which is commissioned to provide 65 nursing and healthcare services.
NHS South Norfolk clinical commissioning group (CCG) decided in September to withdraw its Admiral Nurse service by the end of November, but last month it agreed to a ‘wind down’ period to the end of January 2017. The service funds 2.35 whole-time equivalent Admiral Nurses.
The decision followed a carers’ workshop that was attended by 50 people, during which a 92-signature petition was presented by Wymondham Dementia Support Group and Dementia UK.
Admiral Nurses are named after Joseph Levy, the founder of Dementia UK, who had vascular dementia and was affectionately known as ‘admiral Joe’ for his love of sailing.
Dementia UK works in partnership with organisations or providers running Admiral Nurse services, including assisting with recruitment and training.
Commenting on the decision to discontinue the Nottingham service, a spokesperson for CityCare said: ‘In light of our current financial challenges, we are no longer able to support the funding of this service.
‘We are working closely with the service and hoping to redeploy the two members of the team within other, internal services.
‘We will also continue to work closely with our patients and carers as they are transitioned to other CityCare services, to ensure minimum disruption.’
Referrals to the Nottingham service stopped on 12 December.
Dementia UK chief executive and chief Admiral Nurse Hilda Hayo said: ‘While this is disappointing news, Dementia UK is committed to providing an admiral nurse service in Nottinghamshire and is working with CCGs and partners to deliver the services that families who are living with dementia need.’
South Norfolk was the only CCG in the Norfolk and Waveney area to fund Admiral Nurses.
It took on the responsibility following a successful two-year pilot project, which was funded by the People’s Lottery and Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust.
The CCG can no longer afford to fund the service amid pressures to make savings of about £17.7 million.
It is using the extended closure to work with local people regarding the possibility of funding the service through the charitable, independent or private sector.
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