A lack of social care is being blamed for the increase in the number of people with dementia admitted to hospital as a medical emergency, as figures are released by the NHS.
Hospitals in England alone have recorded more than 379,000 admissions for people living with dementia in 2017/18. These figures are a 35 per cent jump in five years, with 100,000 more patients admitted to hospital compared to 2012/13.
Jeremy Hughes, chief executive for the Alzheimer’s Society, commented: “This is the stark reality of people with dementia left to fall through the cracks in our broken social care system.”
UK based dementia charity, Alzheimer’s Society acquired the figures, which shows that more than half of people living with dementia in England had been admitted to hospital at least once.
Dehydration, infections and falls are linked to the reasons many people are faced with spending a night in hospital – which is costing the NHS £280 million a year. Drastic change is evidently necessary.
“People with dementia are all too often being dumped in hospital and left there for long stays,” continued Hughes.
“Many are only admitted because there’s no social care support to keep them safe at home. They are commonly spending twice as long in hospital as needed, confused and scared.”
Spending longer than necessary in hospital is in part down to a lack of social care. Now, Alzheimer’s Society is calling for urgent action by the UK Government to make drastic and necessary changes to the social care system.
Similarly, Hughes has called on Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sajid Javid to allocate £8bn for social care during his 11 March budget, alongside making personal social care free in England – like it is in Scotland.