Specialist nurses from a leading charity are set to travel around the UK and provide free face-to-face clinics for individuals and families living with dementia.
Dementia UK has partnered with finance company Leeds Building Society to this month host ‘Closer to Home’ clinics, led by Admiral Nurses, at the company’s branches in the North of England. Clinics will also be set up at additional branches across the UK from April onwards.
The charity said the national tour of face-to-face clinics will offer a safe, comfortable and private space for families, carers and friends to discuss any aspect of dementia and receive the specialist support from Admiral Nurses.
“Families living with dementia will be able to get support and advice in a familiar, non-clinical setting”
The launch comes after Dementia UK and Leeds Building Society announced a four-year partnership in April 2020, to raise £500,000 to help over 2,500 families living with dementia across the UK.
As part of this partnership, the ‘Closer to Home’ project was launched in June 2021 to try and improve access to dementia care.
After enough fundraising, a virtual service was launched, where families could book an appointment with a specialist dementia nurse.
Helen Green, Admiral Nurse and ‘Closer to Home’ project lead at Dementia UK, told Nursing Times the virtual clinics were launched “at a time when other services were greatly reduced or often removed”.
Since it’s launch, over 3,600 families affected by dementia have been supported by the virtual clinics, Ms Green said.
“Being able to make an appointment at a time that suited the needs of the family and removed the need to travel, has been highly beneficial to families and carers,” she added.
Now the charity hopes that the launch of face-to-face clinics will allow more families to access the service.
Ms Green, who has a background in mental health nursing and became an Admiral Nurse eight years ago, said that virtual appointments will continue alongside the new face-to-face.
She said: “By hosting awareness sessions in branches and holding face-to-face appointments, we can expand the support that Admiral Nurses can bring to underserved communities and reach more rural locations.”
Ms Green added: “Families living with dementia will be able to get support and advice in a familiar, non-clinical setting whilst going about day-to-day life.
“The Admiral Nurses will also be sharing their knowledge and expertise with branch staff so that they support members in the longer term.”
Meanwhile Paul Edwards, director of clinical services at Dementia UK, said that with dementia being a growing health crisis, and with an estimated 944,000 people currently living with the condition in the UK, reaching more families “has never been more urgent”.
He added: “We are really looking forward to delivering face-to-face appointments in branches across Leeds Building Society’s communities.”
The clinics will be taking in the following Leeds Building Society branches on:
17th – 19th January in Leeds Central
24th – 26th January in Cross Gates
31st – 2nd February in Moortown
7th – 9th February in Newcastle
14th – 16th February in Newcastle
21st – 23rd February in York, Hull and Harrogate
28th – 2nd March in York, Hull and Wetherby
7th – 9th March in York, Hull and Harrogate
14th – 16th March in Barnsley
21st – 23rd March in Sheffield
28th – 30th March in Doncaster