Notts dementia patients missing out on ‘vital’ care reviews

People living with dementia in Nottinghamshire missed out on potentially vital care reviews they were entitled to last year, figures suggest.

By Federica Bedendo
Monday, 24th January 2022, 7:00 am

NHS guidance states dementia patients’ mental and physical wellbeing should be re-assessed in a face-to-face review every 12 months, as they are more likely to suffer from depression and less likely to report physical problems.

Charity Alzheimer’s Society warned outdated care plans may increase the chances of those living with dementia being rushed to hospital for issues that could have been prevented with good care, such as falls and infections.

Figures from the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities show 4,415 dementia patients in the NHS Nottinghamshire clinical commissioning group area had their care plan reassessed in the year to March – 52 per cent of those with a diagnosis and a sharp drop from 2019-20, when 75 per cent of patients received a dementia care review.

Charity Alzheimer’s Society has warned outdated care plans may increase the chances of those living with dementia being rushed to hospital for issues that could have been prevented with good care, such as falls and infections.

Across England, the proportion of those receiving a care review dropped dramatically, from 75 per cent in 2019-20 to 40 per cent last year.

Gavin Terry, Alzheimer’s Society head of policy, said: “This drastic drop is yet more evidence of just how badly people with dementia have been by the Covid pandemic.

“Despite the best efforts of our brilliant NHS and care staff, people with dementia have seen their routine care continually paused and people with dementia had the highest death rate from Covid.”

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Diagnosis

Data shows that, across England, the rate of people living with a dementia diagnosis has also dropped, from 0.79 per cent of those registered with a GP in 2019-20, to 0.71 per cent in 2020-21.

The prevalence among people in Nottinghamshire was 0.77 per cent in 2020-21, lower than 0.84 per cent in 2019-20.

The Alzheimer’s Society is calling on the Government to increase funding to decrease the backlog of people waiting for a formal diagnosis.

Mr Terry said: “We’re calling for urgent action from the Government, so people can access the vital support and treatments a diagnosis brings.”

The Government said it was investing £375 million for neurodegenerative disease research over the next five years.

A Department for Health and Social Care spokeswoman said: “We want a society where every person with dementia, and their families and carers, receive high quality, compassionate care from diagnosis through to end of life.”