Posted on June 06, 2014

Dementia care standards criticised

A report has been issued by the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland criticising the standards of dementia care in specialist units run by the NHS. The report revealed that many patients are receiving good care, but there are units where the standard of care falls short. The Scottish heath secretary, Alex Neil, has stated that action will be taken to implement the changes recommended by the report. It is estimated that around 86,000 people have been diagnosed with dementia in Scotland and that up to one-third are now in residential care or hospital. Visit were made to 52 NHS units designed to provide long-term care for those with the condition, and both patients and carers were interviewed as part of the process. The conclusion is that 43% of dementia patients were not experiencing adequate standards of recreational or social stimulation, while almost three-quarters had not had an outing from the unit within the previous three months. It was also found that the use of antipsychotics and other medications had risen, despite the risks of side effects. The study showed that only around 50% of the dementia patients had a 'person-centred' care plan established ‒ a plan reviewed on a regular basis and showing that there were alternative options to medication. One-quarter of patients had a generic care plan in place; 10% had no care plan at all. There was also criticism of some of the environments, with a number labelled 'institutional' and only half having features considered to be dementia friendly.
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