More than two thirds of hospital staff do not believe they have had sufficient training to deliver quality care to people with dementia, according to a report published.
The survey of over 2,000 hospital staff, which was commissioned by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP) and carried out by the Royal College of Psychiatrists' Centre for Quality Improvement, also found half of staff had not received sufficient training in communication with people with dementia, whilst 54 per cent had not had enough training in dealing with challenging behaviour. Furthermore, only 15 per cent of wards used colour schemes to help people with dementia find their way around the ward.
A similar report published by Alzheimer's Society in 2009 found that at least £80 million and probably hundreds of millions could be saved if people with dementia were enabled to leave hospital one week earlier with the right support.
Alzheimer's Society comment:
'This shocking report proves once again that we urgently need a radical shake-up of hospital care. Given that people with dementia occupy a quarter of hospital beds and that many leave in worse health than when they were admitted, it is unacceptable that training in dementia care is not the norm. Staff want to be empowered with the tools they need to deliver good quality care to people with dementia.
'Being in hospital is often confusing and frightening for people with dementia, but small changes can help make their stay more comfortable. We also need to invest in community care to support people with dementia to live at home and prevent them going into hospital unnecessarily. This is not only better for the person but will also save the NHS millions of pounds.'