Similar to cancer, dementia is a complex, life-limiting condition, incidence also increasing with age. Both conditions require skilled care by professionals who understand the significant impact upon physical, emotional and social well-being for whole families. Recent work by Hospice UK (2015) resulted in guidance for hospices in embracing dementia care, partnership and collaboration being identified as key to success.
Kirklees has a diverse population, approximately 4600 people currently live with dementia, a figure predicted to rise to 7000 by 2030. A number of these will be living with multi-morbidities necessitating support from different agencies and professionals as end of life approaches.
The Kirkwood Admiral Nurse will ensure increasing numbers of families affected by dementia are supported to access skilled, competent, compassionate care.
Aims Support people with dementia and carers make future plans for advancing illness and end of life care. Enable and facilitate workforce development, internal and external. Provide an expert resource for people with dementia, carers, hospice staff and external organisations. Develop new collaborations and partnerships extending role of hospice in dementia care. Promote role of hospice in dementia care amongst local community. Support both local and national agendas from dementia and end of life care perspectives.
Service description This innovative service is a collaboration between Kirkwood Hospice, Kirklees Council and Dementia UK. An open referral system is in place with referrals accepted from people with dementia, carers and professionals. The Admiral Nurse has a caseload of complex cases, works in an advisory, consultancy capacity and focuses on workforce development via education.
This paper describes how aims of the service have been implemented along with successes over a two-year pilot leading to a future substantive End of Life Care Admiral Nurse post at Kirkwood Hospice.
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