Closed petition Fund dedicated dementia wards in all hospitals

Dementia effects all ages, but many hospitals do not have specialised facilities to meet the needs of people with dementia and their carers. The Government should fund dedicated dementia wards in all hospitals, to provide advice, right environment, targeted medical treatment & comfort.

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Dedicated wards would consist of nurses, doctors & other specialists who would be able to give the right treatment & assistance, in discussion with patients and carers. We believe the benefits of improving specialised care would far outweigh the costs.

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Government responded

This response was given on 25 January 2021

We know the environment in which care is given and workforce expertise are critical to the outcomes of people living with dementia. That is why we support work to create dementia friendly hospitals.

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People with dementia should only be admitted to hospital when absolutely necessary. When they are admitted, they should receive high quality, compassionate care and be discharged in a timely and appropriate way so that they can continue to live at home or in community settings.

Services for dementia are the responsibility of local Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs). NHS England allocates funding to clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and NHS England Specialised Commissioning which commission services on behalf of their local populations. It is for CCGs and Specialised Commissioning to decide how best to use the funding allocated to them in line with local healthcare needs and priorities, working with other local commissioners and organisations and taking account of National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidelines.

Through the Dementia Friendly Hospital Charter Taskforce, we have supported the work of the National Dementia Action Alliance (NDAA) to help ensure hospitals are able to support people living with dementia and their families effectively. The Charter brings together clinicians, staff and policy makers to drive forward improvements. The charter, updated to respond to COVID-19, is at: https://nationaldementiaaction.org.uk/campaigns/dementia-friendly-hospitals/2020-charter/

The list of hospitals who have signed up to the charter is also available at: https://nationaldementiaaction.org.uk/campaigns/hospital-trusts/

We also recognise that equipping the health and social care workforce with the skills they need is crucial for providing high quality care for those living with dementia. We want all relevant staff to have received appropriate dementia training. The requisite training needs are set out in The Dementia Training Standards Framework. The Framework can be downloaded at: https://skillsforhealth.org.uk/info-hub/dementia-2015-updated-2018/

The National Audit of Dementia Care in General Hospitals 2018–2019, published in July 2019 and undertaken on behalf of NHS England and NHS Improvement and the Welsh Government, shows that improvements have continued in the care of people with dementia in hospitals across England and Wales since the previous audit of 2017. For example, 96% of hospitals in England and Wales now have a system in place for more flexible family visiting and a large number (88%) of carers (and/or patients) receive a copy of the discharge plan. The report is available at: https://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/docs/default-source/improving-care/ccqi/national-clinical-audits/national-audit-of-dementia/r4-resources/national-audit-of-dementia-round-4-report-online.pdf?sfvrsn=f75c5b75_6

Due to the pandemic the audit timelines have changed and the next survey will cover 2020 to 2022. For details please see: https://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/improving-care/ccqi/national-clinical-audits/national-audit-of-dementia/fifth-round-of-audit

Department of Health and Social Care

Other parliamentary business

MPs debate Dementia Action Week

MPs debated Dementia Action Week on Thursday 27 May in the main House of Commons Chamber. The debate focused on support for people living with dementia, and their families.

This was a general debate. General debates allow MPs to debate important issues, however they do not end in a vote nor can they change the law.

Watch the debate back:
https://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/cf196b94-298e-406e-8468-658524c11186?in=13:29:00&out=14:54:30

You can also read a transcript of the debate:
https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2021-05-27/debates/51CDDF69-49F1-4658-BC04-77C726051D6E/DementiaActionWeek

Find out more about how Parliamentary debates work:
https://www.parliament.uk/about/how/business/debates/