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New Derby dementia specialist nurse to support families in hospital

dementia specialist nurse

The Dementia Service at The University Hospital of Derby and Burton Trust (UHDB) has recently expanded and is being relaunched to incorporate the role of  dementia specialist Admiral Nurse, Charlotte Kawalek.

This is in collaboration with national charity Dementia UK, with £50,000 funding for the post provided by the charity’s partners at Central England Co-operative over a two-year period.

Charlotte is working initially across the hospitals two acute sites at the Royal Derby Hospital and Queen’s Hospital Burton. As the service develops, Charlotte will be ensuring that families will have access to specialist dementia support through the community hospital sites whilst their loved one is being cared for in the acute hospital setting.

Dementia UK is the only charity dedicated to supporting the whole family through dementia specialist Admiral Nurses. When things get challenging or difficult for people with dementia and their families, Admiral Nurses work alongside them; giving compassionate one-to-one support, expert guidance and practical solutions which can be hard to find elsewhere. They are continually trained, developed and supported by Dementia UK. 

Prior to starting in her role as an Admiral Nurse, Charlotte spent the last five years working in a crisis team for dementia patients, aiming to provide treatment at home to reduce hospital admission.  Charlotte has also worked within day hospitals where she supported families following a diagnosis and worked on an acute mental health ward.

Charlotte said: “I see my new role as an Admiral Nurse as a new opportunity to integrate and improve the experience of care for families affected by dementia. across the UHDB sites. I aim to do this by working closely with staff within the hospital, along with staff at East Midlands Ambulance service.

“My past experiences have highlighted that often families can feel alone and are unsure of how to access support. I feel honoured that my role as an Admiral Nurse will enable families to access support whilst in the acute setting, I will also be able to offer practical and emotional dementia support along with supporting colleagues around best practice in dementia care.”

Dr Hilda Hayo, CEO and Chief Admiral Nurse at Dementia UK said: “This is our first Admiral Nurse service based in Derby. We couldn’t be prouder to have someone as skilled and compassionate as Charlotte joining our growing Admiral Nurse community.”

“We know that people with dementia need very tailored support during stays in hospital, particularly around ensuring that their condition doesn’t deteriorate and that they have support out in the community once discharged. This is why we’re committed to increasing the number of Admiral Nurses in this setting over the coming years.” 

Central England Co-op has funded the new post from its Carrier Bag Levy fund, money raised through the sales of carrier bags in its food stores.

Hannah Gallimore, Corporate Responsibility Manager at Central England Co-op, said: “Through our partnership with Dementia UK over the last three and a half years we have seen how important their Admiral Nurse service is for people with dementia and their families.

“We are delighted that this brand-new service has been launched in collaboration with the University Hospital of Derby and Burton Trust which covers communities our colleagues serve every day through our food stores and funeral homes.

“Our colleagues and customers have been inspired to raise thousands of pounds for Dementia UK during the partnership, with the desire to see that fundraising make a direct impact on the lives of people with dementia and their families.

“This funding of £50,000 over two years to fund this new service highlights to our customers that just by shopping at their local Central England Co-op they can make a really positive impact on the lives of people in their community.”

People can be referred to the service by professionals working within the hospitals.