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Brand new Admiral Nurse service launched in North Suffolk to help those with dementia

PUBLISHED: 16:29 18 June 2018

New Admiral Nurse Mindy Mortimer and community matron Cathy Ryan at the Sole Bay Health Centre. Picture: Sole Bay Health Centre

New Admiral Nurse Mindy Mortimer and community matron Cathy Ryan at the Sole Bay Health Centre. Picture: Sole Bay Health Centre

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A specialist nurse has been appointed to help a number of families living with dementia.

Mindy Mortimer, the new Admiral Nurse at Sole Bay Health Centre. Picture: Sole Bay Health CentreMindy Mortimer, the new Admiral Nurse at Sole Bay Health Centre. Picture: Sole Bay Health Centre

The new GP-based Admiral Nurse service has been set up, with the new service – the first of its kind in the county – available to all families registered at Sole Bay Health Centre in Reydon.

Dr Castle and Partners at Sole Bay Health Centre in Reydon, has appointed Melinda Mortimer to the role of Admiral Nurse in partnership with Dementia UK and Sole Bay Care Fund.

Ms Mortimer – known as Mindy – will play an “essential role” within the community by helping families face the most challenging cases of dementia, according to those behind the initiative. The service will also provide support to those families who have not yet received a dementia diagnosis but who are seeing dementia symptoms in a relative.

Admiral nurses provide the specialist dementia support that families need. Before starting her role at Sole Bay Health Centre, Mindy had seven years of experience in supporting families living with dementia both as an admiral nurse with the Royal British Legion and within a memory service in an NHS Foundation Trust in London. She also has experience of working within care home settings.

The new role will expand on this experience, particularly as she will be developing a better understanding, and confidence, amongst other healthcare professionals as well as supporting Southwold and surrounding villages to become ‘dementia friendly’.

Ms Mortimer said: “I feel very privileged and I am really looking forward to working alongside families living with dementia in Southwold and the surrounding areas. Getting a diagnosis can be difficult and isolating for people, so it is imperative they are given the best possible advice and support.”

Cathy Ryan, community matron for Dr Castle and Partners, said: “I am so delighted and proud for our community to have the first GP based Admiral Nurse in Suffolk. It has been a personal crusade for me to make this happen, as I cared for my own mother with dementia for 10 years, and there appeared to be little support when I needed it. I then discovered Admiral Nurses, but there were none in Suffolk, at that time and so I vowed I would do everything I could to support my patients raising the funds to have their own Admiral Nurse”.

‘Huge impact’

Sole Bay Health Centre and Sole Bay Care Fund has partnered with Dementia UK to provide the service.

Dementia UK will continually train, develop and support Ms Mortimer in her new role.

Charlotte Harris, Dementia UK’s business development officer for the region, said: “Mindy will have a huge impact on the local area. With her background in community care, she will allow those diagnosed to be cared for in the comfort of their homes for longer and will also greatly improve the wellbeing of carers”.

As well as supporting those whose lives are affected by dementia, it is hoped to make Southwold and the surrounding villages dementia neighbours.

If any local shops, hotels, pubs and clubs in Soutwold, Reydon, Walberswick, Wenhaston, Wangford and so forth would like Dementia Awareness Training, they can contact Mindy at Sole Bay Health Centre on 01502 722326,


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