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Mar 09 2012

Admiral Nurses in Harrow – Decision on Harrow Council Cabinet Debate

Back in February, we wrote about a campaign by our good friend, Neville Hughes, who called for the reinstatement of Admiral Nurses in Harrow. Admiral Nurses are specialist mental health nurses specialising in dementia. Admiral Nurses work with family carers and people with dementia, in the community and other settings. Working collaboratively with other professionals, Admiral Nurses seek to improve the quality of life for people with dementia and their carers. They use a range of interventions that help people live positively with the condition and develop skills to improve communication and maintain relationships.

Neville got over 3000 people to sign his petition, and this forced Harrow Council to have a debate at Cabinet about the issue. That debate happened on March 8th, and the outcome, as published earlier today, is:

  1. Cabinet notes the petition signed by over 2000 residents which indicates the need for a proper integrated health and social care service to cope with the needs of the elderly and frail people and their carers, in particular, those with dementia;
  2. Cabinet further notes that the Harrow Strategic Partnership has adopted a borough-wide joint Dementia Strategy and supports this joint work; the Department of Health has allocated dedicated funding to provide advice and support for memory services; the new reablement services help identify dementia sufferers earlier; Harrow is one of the top performing Councils for providing support for carers;
  3. Notwithstanding this Cabinet believes proper care of the elderly can only be solved at national level;
  4. Cabinet therefore instructs the Chief Executive to write to Harrow’s three MPs and the GLA Member for Brent and Harrow (i) informing them of the above and (ii) drawing their attention for the need for a comprehensive National Care Service and asks that they lobby for a positive outcome arising from the government’s consideration of the Dilnot report in the forthcoming Social Care White Paper.

There are, of course, many ways to read this decision. We’ve not spoken to Neville, but as it’s not the reinstatement he wanted, we’re going to take a guess and suggest that this says nothing more than “Yes, we agree, but it’s somebody else’s problem.” We’ll track Neville down and get his response as soon as we can.

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