'Inadequate' Diagnosis And Care For Many Dementia Patients

Improvements To Dementia Care May Be Needed According To A CQC Review

13.10.2014

A significant number of patients are not receiving adequate care or are being misdiagnosed in relation to dementia, according to the results of a new investigation.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has carried out a review into standards at both hospitals and care homes in the UK, looking at the planning and delivery of care, communication between different providers and how the quality of care was monitored internally.

Across the 129 residential homes and 20 hospitals the CQC analysed, assessments to identify the individual needs of patients with degenerative illnesses were deemed incomprehensive in 29 per cent of nursing homes and 56 per cent of hospitals.

It was also found that too much focus was often placed on a person's physical needs when they were admitted to hospital via an accident and emergency department, while communication between care homes and other medical facilities was deemed to need improvement in many cases.

Poor care relating to dementia patients' emotional and social needs was identified in 42 per cent of hospitals and 34 per cent of care homes, which raises concerns regarding the wellbeing of these individuals.

Chief inspector of adult social care at the CQC Andrea Sutcliffe commented: "People living with dementia, their families and carers have every right to be treated with respect, dignity and compassion.

"Our review found some great care, delivered by committed, skilled and dedicated staff. But this is not the case everywhere or even within the same service, meaning too many people are at risk of poor care. This has got to change."

For example, the CQC is calling for improved knowledge and understanding regarding dementia among medical staff, as patients with the condition cannot always communicate how much pain they are in.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt added that "there can be no excuse" for poor standards of care and explained the government is focused on improving the quality of life for dementia patients and their next of kin.

If you or a loved one has suffered due to professional or clinical negligence from a mental health practitioner, or at worst your loved one has died, we can help you to claim compensation. Visit our Mental Health Negligence Claims page for more information.