Toby Siddall, Managing Director, said: “For someone living with dementia, a busy hospital ward can be a confusing and frightening experience. The NHS and local authorities should do everything in their power to ensure that only patients with acute needs are admitted to and retained in our hospitals.
For frail, elderly people living with dementia, and suffering from less acute conditions, it makes far more sense for them to be cared for in their own homes or in a residential or nursing home where the staff have expertise in dementia care. Not only can homes provide a more comforting environment and access to appropriately trained nurses and carers, they can do so at a fraction of the cost to the taxpayer compared to a hospital bed, and also free up hospital capacity.”
Commenting on the fact that two thirds of hospital staff are not trained in dementia care, Toby Siddall added: “Our hospitals are full of highly trained people; but dementia is a very specialist area of care so it is not that surprising. There are more than 750,000 people with dementia in the UK – a figure that is expected to double in the next 30 years - so it’s good to see that the Royal College of Psychiatrists is raising the issues.
However, rather than place the entire burden on our hospitals at a time when budgets are under such pressure, we need to think more about where we should be caring for people living with dementia who have other medical conditions.”
Care UK’s Greenview Intermediate Care Unit at Woodlands Hall nursing home featured as a positive example in the Department of Health document called Living well with dementia: A National Dementia Strategy Good Practice Compendium. The case study and findings can be found on page 35.