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Call for 'radical change' in dementia care

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Hospitals in England and Wales are falling short in the care given to dementia patients, according to a national audit of dementia care.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists' audit of 210 hospitals, says while services are safe, they are lacking in other areas.

The report highlights issues such as poor communication with families and a lack of personal care for patients. It also criticises the basic planning arrangements in place for what are a vulnerable group of patients.

Ann Reid's mother had dementia and had a spell in hospital with a chest infection. She told the programme that her mother was very frightened during her stay on the ward.

"She just didn't know where she was, why she was there, she started knocking on the table for attention and they wrote a nasty notice telling her not to bang on the table and left it on her bed," she said.

"When I asked about it I was told that was how they re-orientate patients with dementia."

Andrew Chidgey, of the Alzheimer's Society, told Evan Davis that a "radical change" was needed in the management of patients with dementia.

One in four acute hospital patients now suffered from dementia, he said, and because of a lack of training, many were leaving hospital in a worse state than when they went in.


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