Thousands of dementia patients in U.K. hospitals are subjected to negligent care, claims a new report by the Alzheimer’s Society, revealing the shocking medical standards of many of National Health Service trusts.
The report stated in 2015, thousands of people were released from hospitals overnight while many others were ignored for hours, denied pain relief, food and visits from family attendants.
Health officials have repeatedly ordered hospitals to reduce the number of overnight discharges in the wake of several cases where many elderly patients were left to find their own way home.
Investigations found that almost 40 percent of patients that are released in the dead of the night are dementia patients. The report by Alzheimer’s Society quoted a number of 4,926 Alzheimer's patients that were forcibly taken out of bed and discharged between the hours of 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.
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Overall, only 2 percent of hospitals in U.K. understand the needs of a dementia patient. This means that out of 700,000 people with dementia only 14,000 people are given proper medical care at NHS hospitals.
"In the worst cases, hospital care for people with dementia is like Russian roulette," Chief Executive of Alzheimer's Society Jeremy Hughes said. "People with dementia and their carers have no way of knowing what's going to happen to them when they are admitted."
The survey also found a staggering 90 percent families of patients say that the person with dementia became more confused during their hospital stay while 92 percent say that the hospital environment was “frightening” for the patients.
In the 2013/2014 survey, £264.2 million (US$287.7 million) were wasted on poor dementia cases in hospitals. A Department of Health spokesman told the Daily Telegraph that the nervous disease was high on their priority list and in recent years over £50 million was spent on making care homes and hospital more dementia-friendly, while 500,000 hospital staff members received extra training.
The Alzheimer’s Society has made the following recommendations to fix hospital care: All hospitals are expected to publish an annual statement of dementia care and use the statement as a guide to identify and fix discrepancies in dementia care.