The report shows that in at least 50% of cases, hospitals are not recording a patient’s diagnosis of dementia, despite having identified it on previous admissions.
This follows the launch of Alzheimer’s Society’s Fix Dementia Care campaign, which found further shocking variation in hospital care for people with dementia. The investigation revealed that too many people with dementia are falling while in hospital, being discharged at night or being marooned in hospital despite their medical treatment having finished. Alzheimer’s Society is calling for greater transparency in the quality of hospital care for people with dementia, and all hospitals to publish an annual statement on dementia care.
Other key findings from the HSCIC Focus on Dementia report include:
- A six-fold increase in prescriptions for dementia drugs over the past ten years
- An increase in dementia diagnosis rates, from 643 per 100,000 to 755 per 100,000 between April 2014 and December 2015
- 39% of carers spend more than 100 hours per week supporting a person with dementia
George McNamara, Head of Policy at Alzheimer’s Society, said “These new figures support Alzheimer’s Society’s new Fix Dementia Care campaign calling for greater transparency about dementia care in hospitals. For at least half of all hospital cases, a patient’s diagnosis of dementia is not being consistently recorded in subsequent admissions. This is a simple point that could so easily be addressed to ensure that people with dementia get the specialist care they desperately need.
“People with dementia who receive a timely diagnosis are more likely to benefit from the treatments currently available. This six-fold increase in prescriptions for dementia drugs over the past decade is an encouraging sign that more people are being diagnosed earlier.
“This report also highlights the plight of the UK’s overlooked army of carers. It’s often said that caring for a person with dementia is a full-time job, but these new figures show that it’s much more than that. Nearly 40% of carers are spending 100 or more hours looking after someone with dementia. It is essential that all carers receive comprehensive practical and emotional support from the health and social care system.”