Ben Howlett, the MP for Bath, recently joined over 160 other MPs at the launch of Alzheimer’s Society’s new campaign Fix Dementia Care, which calls for improvements in hospital care for people living with dementia.
Ben Howlett joined other MPs from a range of parties 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.
Ben said: “Good hospital care for people with dementia should never be a throw of the dice – yet in some hospitals people are routinely experiencing the consequences of poor care.
“Close members of my family have suffered with dementia so I know first-hand the impact it can have on suffers and their families. Relatives shouldn’t have to worry about there being a postcode lottery when it comes to the quality of hospital care for people with dementia.
“I therefore joined 160 MPs from a range of parties in writing a letter to Simon Stevens, CEO of NHS England in asking them to support Alzheimer’s Society Fix Dementia Care campaign.”
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.”
The campaign 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.