Dementia care criticised17th November 2009
The Alzheimer's Society has warned that 50% of dementia patients are discharged from hospital in worse health than when they arrived.
They claimed that many dementia patients stay in hospital for a longer period than patients with similar injuries who do not suffer from the condition.
The Alzheimer's Society said that these patients should have the time they spend in hospital cut by a week, as it would mean the NHS could save millions of pounds.
They spoke to 1,300 carers of dementia patients and 1,100 nurses in England, Northern Ireland and Wales.
The most common reason for a patient to be admitted to hospital was because of a fall, broken hip, urinary tract infection, stroke or chest infection.
On average, a patient stayed in hospital for a week. However, the average for over half of dementia patients (57%) was a fortnight or more.
Almost half of the carers stated that being in hospital had an adverse effect on the physical wellbeing of a dementia patient.
Nearly nine in 10 nurses (89%) mentioned that they thought working with dementia patients was a challenge and eight in 10 wanted to have more "specialist advice".
Neil Hunt, chief executive of the Alzheimer's Society, said: "It is shocking that people with dementia are occupying up to a quarter of hospital beds yet there are scandalous variations in the quality of dementia care in hospitals."
"At least £80m a year and probably hundreds of millions could be saved if people with dementia are enabled to leave the hospital one week earlier."
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Title: Dementia care criticised
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 13292
Date Added: 17th Nov 2009