More hospitals recording acute care patients with a history of dementiaIn 2013 we started working with the Alzheimer’s Society on a dementia assurance programme. We looked at hospital data to find out whether patients with a history of dementia were being recorded as having the condition on admission. We have now repeated the analysis and found that 85 per cent of patients with dementia are being identified compared to 83 per cent in 2013.

However, this means that for one-in-seven patients with a history of dementia their condition is still not being noted on admission to hospital. Our analysis also confirmed that where dementia remained unrecorded, patients had worse outcomes (e.g. longer length of stay, increase in mortality, falls and readmissions) in their acute stay than patients recorded as having dementia. These outcomes were in turn worse than outcomes for patients with the same acute condition without dementia.

Last year we published a report which examined best practice in dementia care within hospitals with a view to sharing what we had found. For example, most hospitals now recognise that dementia champions contribute to better practice and delivery of quality care for people with dementia. The introduction of such expertise can also help bring about the culture change that is needed to reinforce the importance of taking time with these patients.

Our report concluded that as pressure and demand on hospitals continues to rise, it is critical that the care of people with dementia in hospital is appropriate and of high quality. While there is no doubt that some hospitals are setting a good example, the reality is that every hospital is going to have to improve their service to provide good, person-centred dementia care.

Moyra Amess, Associate Director, Assurance and AccreditationIn 2013 we started working with the Alzheimer’s Society on a dementia assurance programme. We looked at hospital data to find out whether patients with a history of dementia were being recorded as having the condition on admission.
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