Hospital Dr News

Dementia patients are being dumped in hospitals due to lack of options

Dementia patients are being catapulted into hospitals because of inadequate community care.

That’s the finding of Alzheimer’s Society research, which highlights one in 10 dementia patients spending over a month in hospital after being admitted.

The figures also suggested the overall number of emergency admissions among people with dementia is rising – with some patients being repeatedly admitted.

The Alzheimer’s Society analysed hospital records covering emergency admissions in the six years to 2017-18.

It found 379,000 cases where dementia had been recorded on admission – a rise of 100,000 since 2012-13.

This represents just a small fraction of the six million emergency admissions that year – although that is likely to be an underestimate as the condition is not always recorded on hospital systems.

The charity believes around a quarter of patients in hospital at any one point will have dementia.

Around 40,000 of the dementia admissions – one in 10 – spent longer than 28 days in hospital.

Alzheimer’s Society chief executive Jeremy Hughes said people were falling through the “cracks of our broken social care system”.

Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, added: “The system is not working and these figures reveal how it is letting down people with dementia and putting our hospitals under unnecessary and intolerable strain.

“Nearly every health leader we have surveyed says the social care crisis is harming patient care. The NHS and social care are sister services – when one does not work, the other suffers.

“Unless something is done now it can only get worse. The government has promised reform but unless we find an answer soon, backed up by long-term funding, this tragedy will go blighting the lives of affecting hundreds of thousands of people with dementia and their families.”

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