Poor care in hospital is delaying discharge of patients with dementia, charity says

  • Northern Ireland
  • UK

19th November 2009, BMJ

Zosia Kmietowicz

People with dementia are staying far longer in hospital than people being treated for the same illnesses or injuries who don’t have dementia, says a new report.

The Alzheimer’s Society, which published the report, also found that nearly half (47%) of carers said that being in hospital had a negative effect on the physical health of the person with dementia. More than half (54%) said that being in hospital had also made the person’s dementia worse. A third of those who are admitted to hospital are unable to return home afterwards and enter a care home instead.

The charity blames the longer stays on a lack of person centred care in hospitals, poor communication with patients, and problems in keeping patients safe and in the discharge process, including access to additional services such as physiotherapy.

It is calling for hospitals to reduce the average length of stay for a person . . . [Full text of this article]