On 12 July 2013 the second report of the National Audit of Dementia was published, identifying continuing problems in the quality of care received by people with dementia in hospitals in England and Wales.
The audit was commissioned by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP) and carried out by the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Centre for Quality Improvement in partnership with other organisations. The audit looked at data collected from 210 hospitals across England and Wales, including casenotes of 7,987 patients with a diagnosis or current history of dementia.
Key findings from the report include:
- 41% of hospitals do not include dementia awareness training in staff induction
- 36% of hospitals now have a care pathway in place for people with dementia
- Less than 50% of hospital executive boards are routinely involved in scrutinising hospital performance data on delayed discharges, readmissions and falls, relating to people with dementia
- In a quarter of casenotes, there was no record that notice of discharge from hospital had been given to carers or family
- Case notes often do not include information that could help staff communicate better with the patient, and information relevant to future care is not routinely summarised at the point of discharge. There has been very little improvement in these areas.
The second report showing several aspects of care that have improved since the first report in 2011 and overall results showing that hospitals are working to improve the quality of care that people with dementia receive, there is still a long way to go. The report recommends that a dignity lead, dementia champions and dementia specialist nurses should be employed in all hospitals. Better training for staff on how best to care for people with dementia and how to engage and involved loved ones and carers are also recommended in order to ensure that people with dementia get the care that they deserve while being treated in hospital.