Health and social care professionals

3. Nurses

Nurses support people with dementia, as well as those that care for them, in a variety of roles. You might see different types of nurses. 

Community mental health nurses (CPNs)

Community mental health nurses are also known as community psychiatric nurses (CPNs). They provide treatment, care and support for people with mental health problems and dementia. They might assess you at home, and they advise you and your carers on ways of improving your health and quality of life.
CPNs do not normally carry out physical nursing tasks, such as changing bandages. You could be referred to a CPN from your GP, a psychiatrist or from an inpatient ward. Your GP surgery can provide more information.

District or community nurses

District or community nurses have had extra training in nursing people at home. They are members of the primary care team based at the GP surgery, which is where you can contact them. District or community nurses can help you with things like taking medication or dressing wounds.

Practice nurses

Practice nurses work with GPs and community nurses. They carry out a range of nursing activities within the GP practice, such as flu jabs and check-ups. Most GP surgeries have one. The practice nurse carries out general treatments (including dressings and injections). They also run clinics (eg managing asthma and preventing heart disease) and look after patients with ongoing illnesses (eg diabetes).

Admiral nurses

Admiral nurses are nurses who specialise in dementia care, and can support you as well as your carer. Admiral nurses are available in some parts of the UK but not everywhere. You can find details of your local service on their website (see ‘Other useful organisations’ at the end of this booklet).