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Burstow: Dementia care report must serve as a call to action for NHS

December 17, 2010 9:12 AM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

A report into the care received by nearly 8,000 patients with dementia in 206 hospitals in England and Wales has revealed that few hospitals provide mandatory training for their staff in awareness of dementia; that many patients with dementia are not having assessments of their mental health or state of nutrition and that there are serious delays for patients referred to in-hospital liaison services.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists' Centre for Quality Improvement-examined the care provided by 206 hospitals across England and Wales to 7,934 patients, discharged from hospital between 1 September 2009 and 28 February 2010.

Commenting, Liberal Democrat Care Service Minister Paul Burstow said:

"The results of this interim report are dire, distressing and entirely unacceptable. People with dementia have complex needs and these must be recognised by those caring for them.

"More than a year after the original National Dementia Strategy was launched, 95% of hospitals do not have mandatory training in place. Patients and families will quite rightly be angry and disappointed with the lack of progress.

"The Coalition Government has accelerated the pace of reform. We have set out where hospitals must take urgent action, including ensuring there are senior members of staff to lead on dementia, providing training for all staff and specialist older people's mental health teams.

"This must serve as a call to action for the NHS. Managers and clinicians of local services need to account for the quality and standards of care for people with dementia and their families. Substantial improvement must be realised before the final report next year".