Sharon recently joined other MPs at the launch of Alzheimer’s Society’s, the UK’s leading support and research charity for people with dementia, their families and carers, new campaign Fix Dementia Care which calls for improvements in hospital care for people living with dementia.
MPs gathered in Westminster to call for greater transparency across the NHS following an Alzheimer’s Society investigation which found too many people with dementia are falling while in hospital, being discharged at night or being marooned in hospital despite their medical treatment having finished.
Freedom of Information requests (FOIs) carried out by Alzheimer's Society found that in 2014-15:
- 28% of people over the age of 65 who fell in hospital had dementia - but this was as high as 71% in the worst performing hospital trust.
- In 68 trusts that responded to the FOI (41%), 4,926 people with dementia were discharged between the hours of 11pm and 6am.
- In the worst performing hospitals, people with dementia were found to be staying five to seven times longer than other patients over the age of 65.
Following the launch of the campaign, Sharon said:
“It is important that good hospital care for people with dementia should never be left to chance. Yet, in some hospitals people routinely experience the consequences of poor care with many being discharged from hospital late at night and left to their own devices.
“That is why I support Alzheimer’s Society’s Fix Dementia Care campaign to end the postcode lottery on the quality of hospital care people with dementia face by improving transparency so that we can identify where in our system there are pitfalls ensuring that patients receive the best care possible.”
George McNamara, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at Alzheimer’s Society said:
“We must put a stop to the culture where it’s easier to find out about your local hospital finances than the quality of care you’ll receive if you have dementia. We are encouraging everyone to get behind our campaign to improve transparency and raise the bar on quality.”
“Poor care can have devastating, life-changing consequences. Becoming malnourished because you can’t communicate to hospital staff that you are hungry, or falling and breaking a hip because you’re confused and no-one’s around to help, can affect whether you stand any chance of returning to your own home or not.
“We are delighted to have been able to engage over 160 MPs in one day. Sharon Hodgson MP has a huge influence in Washington and Sunderland West and we hope she will use this opportunity to take action and improve the care for people living with dementia.”
As part of the campaign, Alzheimer's Society is making the following recommendations to fix dementia care:
- All hospitals to publish an annual statement of dementia care, which includes feedback from patients with dementia, helping to raise standards of care across the country
- The regulators, Monitor and the Care Quality Commission to include standards of dementia care in their assessments
You can show your support for Alzheimer's Society's Fix Dementia Care campaign by signing up at: www.alzheimers.org.uk/fixhospitalcare
Washington and Sunderland West MP Sharon Hodgson attended an Alzheimer’s Society reception hosted in the Speaker’s House in Parliament.