Debbie Abrahams, MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth, is has thrown her support behind Alzheimer’s Society’s new campaign Fix Dementia Care which calls for improvements in hospital care for people living with dementia.
An Alzheimer’s Society investigation has found 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. Freedom of Information requests (FOIs) carried out by the charity found that in 2014-15:
- 28% of people over the age of 65 who fell in hospital had dementia – but this was as high as 71% in the worst performing hospital trust
- In 68 trusts that responded to this FOI (41%), 4,926 people with dementia were discharged between the hours of 11pm and 6am
- In the worst performing hospitals, people with dementia were found to be staying five to seven times longer than other patients over the age of 65
Debbie, who is the only MP to be trained as a Dementia Friends Champion, said: “Good hospital care for people with dementia should never be a throw of the dice yet in some hospitals people are routinely experiencing the consequences of poor care.
“That’s why I’m backing Alzheimer’s Society’s Fix Dementia Care campaign to end the postcode lottery on the quality of hospital care people with dementia face. The first step to improving the issue across the country is greater transparency. Once we know where the shortcomings are we can take steps to tackle them.”
George McNamara, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at Alzheimer’s Society said: “We must put a stop to the culture where it’s easier to find out about your local hospital finances than the quality of care you’ll receive if you have dementia. We are encouraging everyone to get behind our campaign to improve transparency and raise the bar on quality.”
“Poor care can have devastating, life-changing consequences. Becoming malnourished because you can’t communicate to hospital staff that you are hungry, or falling and breaking a hip because you’re confused and no-one’s around to help, can affect whether you stand any chance of returning to your own home or not.
“Debbie has a huge influence in Oldham and Saddleworth and we know she’ll use this opportunity to take action and improve the care for people living with dementia.”
The campaign is making the following recommendations to fix dementia care:
- All hospitals to publish an annual statement of dementia care, which includes feedback from patients with dementia, helping to raise standards of care across the country
- The regulators, Monitor and the Care Quality Commission to include standards of dementia care in their assessments
Alzheimer’s Society is calling on people to back the Fix Dementia Care campaign by signing up at: www.alzheimers.org.uk/fixhospitalcare