What are Dementia Nurse Consultants?
Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Nurse Consultants are working to improve care, enhance practice and transform the experience of people with dementia when they go into hospital.
Dementia Nurse Consultants, or ASDNCs, spend most of their time directly involved in improving general and community hospital care for people living with dementia, but they can also be found making a positive impact in mental health and other healthcare settings.
Alzheimer Scotland launched the Specialist Dementia Nurse Programme back in 2006 and since 2015, every NHS board has had an Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Nurse in post.
The Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Nurse Consultants also work closely with many other professionals and services, including almost 1,000 Dementia Champions who are now trained to deliver skilled dementia care. The Dementia Nurse Consultants have a clear vision for the work that they do and regularly meet as a group to drive forward national improvements and policy.
Funding for Dementia Nurse Consultants is shared between Alzheimer Scotland, Scottish Government and NHS boards.
Henry Simmons: the impact of ASDNCs
It is quite remarkable to see how much progress has been made within the acute care environments of our NHS. Much of this is because of the dedication and leadership of the Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Nurse Consultants and the sustained partnership and joint investment in this work between the Scottish Government, NHS Boards and Alzheimer Scotland.
Why is the work of ASDNCs so important?
We know that a hospital admission can be a very stressful time. We also know that people with a dementia diagnosis are more likely to be admitted to a general hospital, and stay longer, than someone without a dementia diagnosis.
That’s why over the past eight years, the Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Nurse Consultants have driven forward a wide range of improvements, such as:
- Embedding individual preferences and needs in care plans
- Making sure families and unpaid carers are involved in care
- Creating ward environments that are welcoming to people with dementia
- Ensuring that staff have the right skills and knowledge to offer the highest level of care.