Dementia patients ”still get poor care”

Not only do fewer than 50 per cent of patients with dementia have their mental health assessed when they go into hospital but nearly 25 per cent of hospital beds are taken up by people with dementia, according to a survey by the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

The National Clinical Audit Report also reported that around 60 per cent of patients with dementia who were referred to a psychiatrist didn’t see one within four days of being admitted to hospital. And in only five per cent of hospitals did staff who worked with the patients receive the required level of dementia awareness training.

Peter Crome, professor of geriatric medicine at Keele University, said: “Yet again a report has found marked deficiencies in the care of older people with dementia in general hospitals. There is still reluctance by clinicians and managers to accept that the care of this most vulnerable group of patients is a core function of acute hospitals. This must change.”