Dementia - ​First Admiral Nurse service launches in Dorset

12th October 2017

Families living with dementia in Purbeck now have access to specialist dementia support – thanks to incredible local fundraising efforts.

A special event at Durlston Castle in Swanage marked the launch of Dorset’s first community-based Admiral Nurse service. It celebrated a year of tireless campaigning and fundraising by the Dementia Friendly Communities in Swanage and Wareham, to bring local families living with dementia the specialist support they need.

Rachel Murray, an experienced registered nurse with wide-ranging knowledge of dementia care, has been appointed Purbeck’s first Admiral Nurse. When things become challenging or difficult, Admiral Nurses work alongside people with dementia, their families and carers, providing one-to-one support, expert guidance and practical solutions.

“I consider myself incredibly fortunate to be able to embrace this opportunity to develop the Purbeck Admiral Nursing Service,” said Rachel.

“It is an honour to serve the Purbeck community and I welcome the chance to work collaboratively to help provide individual care and support to those living with dementia.”

Rachel works for Dorset HealthCare and is supported by Dementia UK, the charity that provides Admiral Nursing with on-going training and development. The service has been developed and established as a truly three-way partnership between Dementia UK, Dorset HealthCare and the Dementia Friendly Communities in Swanage and Wareham. They will continue to work closely together to ensure families receive specialist practical, emotional and therapeutic support in order to avert avoidable crises and continue in their caring role.

Alison Tallant, Purbeck Locality Manager for Dorset HealthCare, said:

“It has been really exciting to have the opportunity to support the first community Admiral Nurse post in Dorset, and we are delighted to have the support of Dementia UK. Members of the Dementia Friendly Communities in Purbeck have been amazing – raising funding for this post and making it happen. Rachel is working as part of our Integrated Locality Team, using her nursing skills in providing specialist support to families deeply affected by dementia, helping them to cope with many different challenges.”

Dr Hilda Hayo, Chief Admiral Nurse at Dementia UK, said:

“We would like to extend a heartfelt thank-you to everyone who has helped bring the first community-based Admiral Nurse service to Purbeck. The unique dementia expertise and experience an Admiral Nurse brings is a lifeline – their specialist support enables families who have complex needs to better cope with the difficult everyday reality of living with dementia.

“We are very pleased to be working in partnership with Dorset HealthCare and the Dementia Friendly Communities in Swanage and Wareham to provide families with the specialist dementia support that they need.”

Jean Gibbs, family carer and Chairman of the Swanage Dementia Friendly Community, added:

“The community have done so much to achieve this fantastic outcome of setting up the Admiral Nurse service within 18 months of getting started on fundraising. I feel privileged to be part of such a passionate and determined group and I’d like to say a massive thank you to everyone who made this happen. We are absolutely delighted to welcome Rachel on board and to be working with Dementia UK and Dorset Healthcare to bring this much needed specialist dementia support to the area.”

Dementia service launch - photo of nurses

Alison Tallant, Purbeck Locality Manager for Dorset HealthCare, Rachel Johnstone from Dementia UK, Admiral Nurse Rachel Murray and Dr Hilda Hayo, Chief Admiral Nurse with Dementia UK at launch event, Durlston Castle.

We respectfully request that the terms dementia ‘sufferer(s)’, ‘victims(s)’, and ‘patient(s)’ are not used in headlines to accompany this story. Alternative suggestions are person/people ‘with dementia’ or ‘living with dementia’.

Dementia UK provides specialist dementia support for families through our Admiral Nurse service. If you’ve been affected by dementia or need advice, contact Dementia UK’s Admiral Nurse Dementia Helpline on 0800 888 6678 or email The Helpline is staffed by experienced Admiral Nurses, who give vital support by telephone or email.

For more information, contact Faradane O’Callaghan/ Ceiri O’Douglas, Communications Managers for Dementia UK, on 0207 697 4178 / or the Dorset HealthCare Communications Team on 01202 277080/