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A ‘vital’ West Norfolk dementia service is set to be axed at the end of the month.

For the past year, Admiral Nurses have been supporting dementia patients and their families within the community, in a bid to reduce hospital admissions for the over-75s.

But funding for what is understood to be  three members of staff, is being cut and service-users are being pointed towards charity organisations.

A North Wootton woman said she was distraught at the news as the service helped her family and she could not believe it was being lost.

Ann Bramham, said: “We are very, very sad that the funding for the Admiral Nurses in our area ceases at the end of March and no one else will benefit from these wonderful people.

“There must be lots of people who are in the same situation as us and need the extra help, so they know what to do next.”

Towards the end of last year, Mrs Bramham said the condition a family member suffering with early-onset dementia, deteriorated rapidly.

“He was living independently, but then his dementia progressed very quickly.

“He  started to wander around at night-time.  We didn’t know what to do,” she said.

Social services put Mrs Bramham in contact with the Admiral team, whose members are registered mental health nurses, to provide specialist dementia care.

Mrs Bramham was allocated a nurse, who spoke to the family about all aspects of the condition.

“We all knew that it would not be long before he would need total care, but the thought frightened both him and us.  I was struggling to find a home to take him as he was under 65.”

However, within 48 hours, the Admiral Nurse found a suitable home nearby for Mrs Bramham’s relative.

“He’s now safe and secure which is all down to her and it means so much to us. Since then, she has telephoned to see how my husband and I are coping,” said Mrs Bramham.

“She listens to us and talks to us, which is so important. We feel so sorry for all the people who will never get to know an Admiral Nurse.”

The West Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) ran the scheme as a pilot with the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) and five GP practices.

A spokesman for the CCG, said: “After a thorough clinical review and evaluation of the scheme, the CCG has decided not to continue with this pilot as other services are already in place to support carers of patients with dementia.

“For example, Alzheimer’s Society, West Norfolk Carers and Norfolk Carers Support.

“The CCG has made services for people with dementia and those who care for them one of its priorities and will continue to work with statutory organisations and the voluntary/community sector to make person-centred care, and the coordination of services for people with dementia and those who care for them, central to future commissioning.”

Age UK Norfolk was also involved in the Admiral Nurse pilot scheme.

A spokesman for the organisation, said: “It is disappointing that the service will come to an end.

“We know it was well-received by its service users.

“But we are delighted other charities have been identified to help and support those with dementia and their families.”