A Hucknall man who ‘embodies care and compassion’ has been praised for his work to help dementia patients.
Members of Nottinghamshire Health Trust paid tribute to his years of hard work by nominating Jim Radburn for this year’s ‘Outstanding Service Contribution and Recognition Scheme’ (OSCARS) which recognises and rewards those who go the extra mile to provide high quality health services.
Following his wife Tina’s diagnosis of dementia in 2003, Jim Radburn ‘worked tirelessly’ to lobby, gain funding and set up a self-help group run by and for carers in 2008.
Julie Grant, director of communications at the Trust, said: “Some 11 years later Jim is still a vocal and passionate advocate for carers, families and friends of those affected by dementia. Sadly 11 days before the Trust launched the service Jim’s wife Tina passed away at the age of 58.”
Tracey Evans, service manager, said: “He worked tirelessly with us even when he suffered the sad loss of his wife. There have been 1355 referrals in five years. Jim was instrumental in the development of the WAD service. He has been a great support over the years. He is passionate and committed to making a diference and thanks to him there is a clear pathway for people under 65 with a suspected dementia. He’s great!”
Jim, of Avon Avenue, said: “It is all about highlighting the facts and getting involved. For every 8p spent on cancer only 1p is spent on dementia care - but there are more people with dementia in the UK.”
He believes the practical experience of carers like himself has contributed greatly to professional care, saying: “Carers live with dementia 24/7 and they know what does work and what doesn’t. Keep the carer’s health and they can look after their loved ones longer.”
He cites the example of a ward for the elderly at the QMC Hospital which has three trained mental health nurses who are specially trained to look after dementia sufferers, which he says frees up the medical nurses to do their jobs.
The experience of dementia carers like him has helped inform the services provided. Carers in Hucknall meets on the first and third Tuesday of the month at Hucknall Library’s meeting room from 1.30pm to 3.30pm.