Hospitals are not good places for people with dementia.
Many of us know that people with dementia can decline rapidly following a stay in hospital. The suffer increased confusion, disorientation and increased distress.
Sir David Nicholson, former Chief Executive of the NHS Commissioning Board describes hospitals as ‘bad places’ for frail older people and specifically for people with dementia in an interview.
In this old article in the Independent (21 January 2013), Sir David suggested that more emphasis and money needs to be spent on ensuring that care for conditions like dementia is delivered in the community rather than in primary care.
The Alzheimer’s Society response was:
‘The awful truth is that Sir David is right. People with dementia are going into hospital unnecessarily, staying too long and coming out worse. Supporting people with dementia in the community will prevent them reaching crisis point and needing hospital care. This is not only beneficial for the person but makes financial sense for an NHS stretched to breaking point.
‘Reducing the time that people with dementia stay in hospital by just one week could save the NHS millions a year. Supporting the 800,000 people with dementia in the UK to live well in the community needs to be established as a top priority for the new NHS Commissioning Board.’
Nothing has changed and moving forwards with more and more cuts to community services hospitals which are already stretched to bursting point will be the only place. Not just the wrong place but the only place.