EMERGENCY hospital admissions for people with dementia in Stratford district have shot up.
The number of patients admitted in 2018 in the district was up a third according to The Alzheimers Society.
In Stratford a total of 985 people were admitted – an increase of 32 per cent, which was slightly below the national average of 35 per cent.The charity estimates the total spend for the some 380,000 emergency admissions across the NHS cost around £280million. Some 40,000 people spent between a month and a year in hospital costing an additional £165million.
The charity blames the rise on the lack of appropriate care and care home places available to provide specialist dementia care.
It says people with the illness are also suffering avoidable emergencies like falls, dehydration and infections because of scarce, inadequate and costly social care.
Charity chief executive Jeremy Hughes said: “This is the stark reality of many people with dementia left to fall through the cracks in our broken social care system.
“People with dementia are all too often being dumped in hospital and left there for long stays. Many are only admitted because there’s no social care support to keep them safe at home. They are commonly spending more than twice as long in hospital as needed, confused and scared. This costs the NHS millions of pounds for the want of properly funded social care.”
Warwickshire County Council says it is working to improve care for dementia patients. This includes a care strategy which will be updated this year and training for social care staff and carers to develop understanding of the illness.
A spokeswoman said: “The council takes seriously the issues raised by the Alzheimer’s Society. Work is ongoing to assess and review arrangements in the county regarding the capacity of care homes to accept people with dementia.
“Over the last two years Warwickshire has and continues to make significant improvements to supporting all residents, and particularly those aged over 65 with dementia, to ensure that they return home as soon as possible after a stay in hospital.
“There are a range of services commissioned by the council which support people with dementia and their carers in the community. These services aim to support people with dementia and their carers in a holistic way providing them with dementia specific information, emotional and practical support and activities.
“One of the main outcomes of delivery of these services is to support people to live well with dementia in the community and prevent their needs from escalating, thus avoiding use of acute services.”
Click here for information on supporting those with dementia and their carers.