First nurse of her kind who will support dementia patients and their families joins QA Hospital in Portsmouth

A NEW nurse who specialises in helping patients with dementia has started her role at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham amid growing demand for support.

By Fiona Callingham
Tuesday, 15th February 2022, 11:01 am

Sarah Munday will work as the first Dementia UK-endorsed admiral nurse for Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust (PHU).

As part of her job she will work alongside patients with dementia and their family or carer to give them compassionate one-to-one support, expert guidance and practical solutions.

Over the next few months, Sarah hopes to meet colleagues and families to find out their experiences, provide education to staff and boost dementia awareness across the hospital.

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Sarah Munday is QA Hospital's first admiral nurse, who will assist dementia patients and their families. Picture: PHU

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She said: ‘I am excited by the level of activity at PHU around dementia care and look forward to enhancing this with my own specialist dementia knowledge to improve the patient experience further.

‘I am currently meeting department leads to better understand their needs and to form a positive working relationship. I will be visiting wards that support a large number of patients and their carers with dementia, so please do speak to me if you see me.’

Along with Sarah’s work, PHU is due to launch its new dementia strategy, which will set out the trust’s goals for the next three years in line with the Dementia Friendly Hospital Charter.

It comes after health bosses outlined their desire to improve dementia services during a board meeting in October 2021.

At the meeting one resident shared details of a ‘difficult’ experience she had at QA Hospital last summer.

Valerie Ormonde-Dobbin recounted how she struggled to speak to staff about her elderly husband Tony, and feared his diagnosis with dementia was not taken into account while he was an in-patient for six days.

As a result, Emily Oliver, PHU’s lead nurse for dementia said ‘immediate’ changes had been made.

Speaking at the meeting said: ‘We knew the dementia training wasn’t quite what it needed to be.

‘All of our clinical and non-clinical staff are receiving dementia awareness training and we are working with the university to get their three tier standard.

‘We will also recruit an admiral nurse, who is a dementia specialist nurse.

Relatives would be able to contact the admiral nurse to make sure they and the patient had the support they needed.’

According to NHS data there are more than 850,000 people in the UK who have dementia. One in 14 people over the age of 65 have dementia, and the condition affects one in six people over 80.

The number of people with dementia is increasing because people are living longer, and it is estimated that by 2025, the number of people with dementia in the UK will exceed one million.

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