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Welcome to Devon's first Admiral Nurse

Specialist dementia nurse appointed to support families in Sid Valley thanks to incredible local fundraising effort.

Devon’s first Admiral Nurse has begun work in the Sid Valley. Heidi Crook’s appointment will mean that families in the area will now have access to an Admiral Nurse. Admiral Nurses provide the specialist dementia support that families need. When things get challenging or difficult, these nurses work alongside people with dementia, their families and carers: giving them one-to-one support, expert guidance and practical solutions.

Her arrival was brought about through an enthusiastic campaign in the community, led by local newspaper the Sidmouth Herald and the Sid Valley Memory Café. The Big Lottery Fund will also provide funding for the service over the next three years.

Heidi will be employed by the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital and work as part of Sidmouth’s community nursing team.

Heidi’s announcement has been welcomed by East Devon’s MP Sir Hugo Swire:  “Given that a quarter of the population in Sidmouth is aged over 75 and people are living longer, dealing with dementia effectively and innovatively is an enormous task. I wish Heidi the very best of luck – I am sure she will make a real difference.”

Heidi said that it was a privilege to be taking up this role. She added: “The local community are completely behind our new service which is amazing to see. My role is to look after the families who dedicate themselves to caring for their loved one. They need someone to advocate for them and who can provide them with the specialist dementia support that they need.” 

Adrian Ford, on behalf of Sid Valley’s Admiral Nurse committee, said: “We are sure that our Admiral Nurse will make a huge difference to so many families here in the Sid Valley who are living with dementia and that, with the continuing support of the community, she will become a permanent fixture.”

Rachel Johnstone, Dementia UK’s Business Development Officer for the region said it was fantastic to see the first Admiral Nurse in Devon become a reality, adding: “Living with dementia can sometimes be a hard and lonely experience. Admiral Nurses work together with families and other health and social care professionals to provide the one-to-one support, expert guidance and practical solutions they need to live more positively with dementia each and every day.”

Referrals will open at the end of April and can be made via the Sid Valley GP practice.

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