Chris O’Connor, nurse consultant for dementia and older people at East Surrey Hospital has been appointed as a consultant Admiral nurse, at Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust (SASH).
Admiral nurses, led by the Dementia UK charity, support families of people living with dementia and, working in partnership with other organisations, help to ensure that families and carers of people with dementia are signposted to services available in the community once their loved one leaves hospital.
Chris, who has been at SASH since April 2016, leads on dementia care and dementia education and provides tailored practical and emotional support to patients with dementia and their families and carers.
Chris said: “I am delighted to have been appointed as an Admiral nurse and to work even more closely with Dementia UK to support local patients and their family and carers
“As a dementia friendly organisation, being an Admiral nurse is a great fit with the dementia work we are already doing at SASH. Often, people come to hospital who may have been diagnosed with dementia and, for a number of reasons, have not accessed any support.
“Working with Dementia UK means that I have access to a national network of dementia leads and further specialist training and development, ensuring that we can continue to improve and develop the service we provide to local people and families living with dementia.”
With the growing numbers of people living with dementia in the UK and family members providing care, to improve dementia care the staff at SASH, focus on four key areas: patient experience; engagement; environment; training and development.
Zena Aldridge, senior consultant Admiral nurse said: “Dementia UK works in partnership with NHS providers and commissioners, social care authorities and the voluntary sector to promote and develop new Admiral nurse services; we are really pleased to welcome Chris and support him as he continues to develop and enhance the support for patients and those living with dementia.”