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Dementia care not good enough

16th December 2011

In the first major review of its kind, experts have found that hospitals in England and Wales are falling short in the care given to dementia patients.

nursing

The Royal College of Psychiatrists’ audit of 210 hospitals found that services are safe but there was poor communication with families and a lack of personal care for patients.

Evidence also suggests that dementia patients do not do as well as other patients in hospitals and the college also found problems with basic planning arrangement for patients.

The report highlighted issues such as too little being done to get them access to specialist services, provide basic help for eating, or to prepare for discharge from hospital by liaising with community services.

Professor Peter Crome, who led the review, said: “This report provides further concrete evidence that the care of patients with dementia is in need of a radical shake-up.”

However, it has also been recognised that hospitals have started improving practices in light of the interim findings that have been passed on to them.

The Alzheimer's Society described the report’s finding as shocking while Care Services Minister Paul Burstow said the government was determined to improve standards, and from next year would be introducing a financial incentive to encourage the NHS in England to perform better.

He added: “The result of this audit should be a must read for every medical and nursing director. It is time for the NHS to put in place the training and support that improves the care and treatment of people with dementia and saves money too.”

 

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