Elderly King’s Mill patients had to be re-tested after dementia screening error

editorial image

A probe at the NHS trust that runs King’s Mill Hospital has been launched after failings identified in dementia screening at the site led to patients having to be re-tested for the disease.

During a meeting with the board of directors at Sherwood Forest Hospitals Trust, it was flagged that a key question appeared on only 30 percent of tests in January- below the national standard.

An “adminstrative reporting error” was determined as the cause for the flawed screenings, which meant patients had to be re-tested at the hospital or via their GP in case symptoms of dementia had been missed.

The trust says “significant work” has been carried out to improve the reporting system, which has been transferred to the head of safeguarding.

“At the point when a drop in figures for screening became evident, we ensured that every patient who was missed was screened,” said a trust spokesman.

In February, correct screening had increased to 50 per cent and by March the figure increased further to 64 per cent.

Chief nurse for Sherwood Forest Hospitals Suzanne Banks, said: “It is concerning that our dementia screening fell below the high standards that we like to maintain for the trust.But we have worked hard to rectify this, which has been acknowledged by our partners at the CCG.

“We are working to fully evaluate and improve the screening processes to ensure that this will not happen again.

“Our lead consultant for dementia and the head of safeguarding are conducting a thorough investigation into this.”

Dementia screening for patients over 75 years who stay longer than 72 hours in an acute hospital is part of NHS mandatory contracts.

It has specific questions that require responses within set timeframes.