Lack of care home places blamed for sharp rise in hospital dementia admissions

NHS hospital

A lack of care home places has contributed to emergency hospital admissions of people living with dementia rising by a third in five years, Alzheimer’s Society has said.

There were 379,000 emergency admissions in England of people living with dementia in 2017/18, up by 100,000, or 35% on 2012/13, the data shows. Additionally, the number of people living with dementia stranded in hospital for a year rose by 6% on 2012, with 40,000 stuck in a hospital bed for more than a month in 2017/18.

The charity said more than half of people living with dementia in England went through emergency admissions in 2017/18, many of them multiple times.

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Alzheimer’s Society estimates that the additional admissions cost the NHS more than £280m in 2017/18, with those spending between a month and a year in hospital, costing over £165m, alone.

The charity blamed the alarming rise on the paucity of appropriate care support, including a lack of care home places.

Jeremy Hughes, Alzheimer’s Society Chief Executive said: “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 for the want of properly funded social care.”

“850,000 people with dementia and their families across the UK heard the Prime Minister’s promise to fix social care. They expect action.”

Alzheimer’s Society is demanding an extra £8bn per year in the spring budget and for immediate cross-party talks on the provision of free universal care.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “We know that hospital visits can be distressing for people with dementia which is why there should be high-quality care in the community.

“We have given councils an extra £1.5bn next year for children and adult’s social care and are determined to find a long-term solution so that every person is treated with dignity and offered the security they deserve.”


Tags : Alzheimer’s SocietyDementiaNHS

The author Lee Peart

1 Comment

  1. This article and headline is deceptive. There are 456,000 Care home beds in the UK with average sector occupancy of c90%, meaning 45,600 are vacant. This is in excess of the 40,000 patients referred to in the article as being admitted into hospitals for over one month. As we all know, this issue is caused by the inability/ unwillingness of Local Authorities to fund placements and instead pushing the funding burden onto the NHS. I would have expected more from your publication which focuses on the home sector and should understand what is really going on.

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