Stevenage dementia nurse service cut

NHS England

NHS England - Credit: Archant

A health service for dementia sufferers has been cut due to a lack of funding.

Last year Tia Davolls was appointed as an admiral nurse to provide support to families affected by dementia in Stevenage.

After a 12-month pilot scheme costing approximately £60,000, the service will stop tomorrow (Friday), directly affecting 100 families who have been provided with care and support.

The service was run by Carers in Hertfordshire in partnership with Dementia UK, and was funded by the People’s Health Trust – a charitable organisation which provides funding programmes.

Albert Binns, whose wife suffers from dementia, described the service as “invaluable”.

Mr Binns, of Stevenage, said: “I have nothing but praise for the outstanding support we have received from Tia Davolls. Her caring manner and the way in which she has explained the disease and the eventual stages of progression to the family has been invaluable.

“I don’t know how I would have dealt with the issues without the advice and support Tia has been giving me on a regular basis. Her counselling support has given me the courage to move forward and accept the changes that will be necessary to our lives in the future.”

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Sue Reeve, chief executive officer at Carers in Hertfordshire, said: “We are disappointed to have to announce the closure of this wonderful service which has made such a difference to the lives of carers in Stevenage. We remain committed to working with Dementia UK to reinstate the service, if we can secure sufficient funds.”

A spokesman for Dementia UK said: “We’re hugely saddened by the discontinuation of the admiral nursing service for Stevenage. This was a very successful pilot that made a huge difference to families living with the effects of dementia.

“In partnership with Carers in Hertfordshire, we will endeavour to seek alternative sources of funding so that the excellent work that was demonstrated in the pilot study can be replicated throughout Hertfordshire.”

John Hume, chief executive of People’s Health Trust, said: “We are pleased to have given a start up 12-month grant of £60,000 to fund the admiral nurse scheme. The continuation of the service beyond our funding is very much a matter for Dementia UK. They are a successful fundraising organisation and, although this is a difficult climate, we have every confidence in their ability to find continuation funding.”