Admiral Nurse appointed at Hampshire Hospitals

Published on: 19 March 2021

In a ground-breaking appointment for Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Rachel Hayden has been selected to become an Admiral Nurse Clinical Lead – working collaboratively with Dementia UK. The UK charity is the only one dedicated to supporting whole families affected by dementia through dementia specialist Admiral Nurses.

When things get challenging or difficult for people with dementia and their families, Admiral Nurses work alongside them, giving the compassionate one-to-one support, expert guidance and practical solutions that can be difficult to find elsewhere. They are a lifeline, helping families to live more positively with dementia in the present, and to face the challenges of tomorrow with more confidence and less fear. 

Rachel’s appointment is part of the Trust’s commitment to providing outstanding care. She will be joined by two more Admiral Nurses so that specialist dementia support will be available at all three hospital sites. The Admiral Nurses will also be able to provide ward staff with the most up-to-date knowledge and training on dementia care and staff will be able to seek expert advice whenever they need it.

For Rachel, the appointment follows over 20 years of experience in acute hospital settings, with seven years spent as Lead Dementia Nurse at HHFT. Rachel said: “I feel privileged to have been appointed as the Admiral Nurse Clinical Lead here at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and for the opportunity to work with Dementia UK.

“In my role, my team and I have been able to develop an award-winning service that focuses on both the person living with dementia and the people that care for them in their homes.  We were one of the first 100 hospitals to implement John’s Campaign - which recognises and supports carers as an essential part of dementia care within the acute setting.

“We have worked alongside Winchester University on a joint research project (1) on how participatory music can improve dementia care in the hospital environment, and we have also worked alongside The Memory Box Project and many local organisations to provide a variety of therapeutic activities to our patients.

“Now working collaboratively with Dementia UK, this new role will enable me to continue to develop and expand the support that both my team and I are able to provide to the individuals living with dementia and the people that care for them.”

Adam Smith, lead nurse for mental health at Hampshire Hospitals, said: “Supported by a national network of colleagues, academics, researchers and experts by experience, we can ensure that we continually strive to improve dementia care within our trust - enabling individuals and their families to live well with dementia, supporting them in future challenges that they may face.

“Admiral Nurses are seen as the pinnacle of outstanding dementia care and we are working to build on this appointment by creating two Band 6 Admiral Nurse job vacancies to further support the incredible work of our dementia team.”

Julie Dawes, chief nurse and deputy chief executive at Hampshire Hospitals, commented: “This is a fantastic opportunity for Rachel and for the Trust. This is the start of a great relationship with Dementia UK that will only improve the dementia care we offer to patients and their families.”

Hilda Hayo, CEO and Chief Admiral Nurse of Dementia UK, said: "With Admiral Nurses like Rachel in an acute hospital, families can benefit from specialist care and support whilst the person with dementia is in hospital, and have their ongoing needs assessed before they are discharged. This is especially important during the current pandemic, when families may be unable to visit their loved ones in hospital or seek advice on what to do to prevent or manage any issues they may have difficulty with. Having a planned support package in place will also prevent readmission.

“We are really pleased to welcome Rachel Hayden into the Admiral Nurse community and we look forward to working with her."

Notes to Editors

  1. Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (HHFT) provides hospital services to a population of approximately 570,000 people in Hampshire and parts of West Berkshire.
  2. HHFT has around 6,000 staff and a turnover of £423million a year.
  3. HHFT delivers one hospital service across multiple locations including its own hospitals, Andover War Memorial Hospital, Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital and Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester. It also provides outpatient and assessment services from Alton Community Hospital.
  4. As a Foundation Trust, HHFT is accountable to the local community through a system of local ownership with members and elected governors. HHFT has around 15,000 staff and public members. Foundation Trusts are free from central government control and can reinvest any surplus to develop clinical services. They are authorised and regulated by NHS Improvement, an independent regulator.
  5. Hampshire Hospitals Charity (Registered Charity 1060133) is managed by the Foundation Trust itself and is split into ward and department funds. The funds are used to provide items that will benefit both patients and staff as well as to brighten up patient treatment areas and staff facilities. Most wards and departments have their own funds and the decisions as to how the funds are to be used are made at ward and departmental level, subject to guidelines issued by the Charity Commission.

Media contacts

David Lindley-Pilley, Media and PR Lead
020 8036 5383

Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
01256 313062

About Dementia UK

Dementia UK is the only UK charity dedicated to supporting whole families affected by dementia through dementia specialist Admiral Nurses .

If you need advice or support on living with dementia 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 visit, follow Dementia UK on Twitter: @DementiaUK, and on Facebook:


(1) Arts and Dementia - Using Participatory Music Making to Improve Acute Dementia Care Hospital Environments: An Exploratory Study 

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