Kathryn Penrith, a consultant dementia nurse, has been named the dementia carer of the year at the Great British Care Awards North West.
Ms Penrith was recognised for her work in setting up the Dementia Law Clinic. The clinic was set up in July 2015 to advise families of people with dementia on complex issues that can arise when caring for someone with dementia, such as care home disputes and powers of attorney.
‘The clinic is already making a real difference to local families who don't know where to turn,’ Ms Penrith said. ‘What we have found is that families require additional psychological and practical support as well as the legal advice and this is why we offer several components delivered by skilled professionals in those areas.’
The clinic, run by Warrington-based social care provider Making Space, is the first legal advice clinic in the country to offer services to patients with dementia and their families. Along with legal advice, it also provides Admiral nursing services, and communication and activity support for families living with dementia. ‘Caring can be a full-time responsibility, so we are flexible in our attempts to meet families needs,’ added Ms Penrith. ‘Technology supports us to do this both face-to-face and from a distance.’
The awards were announced at the ceremony in Manchester. The show recognised the achievements of workers in social and home care settings. ‘We never cease to be amazed with the quality of nominations and this year is no exception,’ said Sean Turner, director of The Great British Care Awards. ‘This evening was a true celebration for the unsung heroes of social care, without whom quality care provision in our communities would fail.’