Admiral Nursing Service

The Admiral Nursing service currently consists of 2 Admiral Nurses as well as an acute Delirium Nurse and they are located at the North Devon District Hospital in Barnstaple.

the role of the Admiral Nurse’s are to support the families/carers of those patients living with dementia and also support the person with dementia. They also provide support to staff on the ward and patient areas within the hospital; alongside this they do regular teaching and education sessions to increase knowledge of dementia, delirium and delivering patient care to these patients and their families/carers.  

The charity Dementia UK, initially funded the first post for Angela Walter who is now the team lead. This is however now fully funded by the North Devon Healthcare Trust, as are the other posts in the team. 

The name ‘Admiral Nurse’ came from the family who set up the charity several years ago, their father had dementia and his nickname was ‘Admiral Joe’, hence the title ‘Admiral Nurse’.

Angela advised “I often use the analogy of Admiral Nurses are to dementia, like Macmillan is to cancer nursing.”

Whilst at the moment, due to capacity, they don’t take direct referrals from the GP surgeries, they do accept any referrals from patients/families/carers that come into NDDH as either an inpatient/outpatient/via the dementia café or from staff members working within the Trust.

They do follow up patients/carers/families when people are discharged, this is usually a phone call, text or email (whichever is preferred), but do NOT go to see people in their own homes.

The ultimate aim would be to have registered Dementia support Nurses within the community setting linked to areas, for example, an Admiral Nurse/Dementia Support nurse, covering Bideford, Barnstaple, Ilfracombe/Lynton, Braunton/South Molton, Holsworthy/North Cornwall etc. This can only happen if the community services are able to fund this, but is a much-needed service for the many hundreds of people and families living with dementia and a hope for the future.