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Care system denying cash for dementia sufferers

Trusting families are being forced to leave their loved ones in the hands of unqualified staff in many UK care homes.

Shocking statistics reveal a third of care homes specialising in dementia do not provide staff with dementia care training. Only 57% of people living in care homes as a result of dementia are receiving care in settings dedicated to the condition.

Colin Ball, managing director of continuing care funding specialists Cheselden, said:

"Changes to the funding system need to happen now. This is yet another example of how our care system is failing to assess people in care properly. This results in too many people needing specialist care being placed in an incorrect care environment and denied the correct level of funding. This is causing anger and despair amongst families.

"Too many families are suffering financially and emotionally through no fault of their own. A mixture of confusing advice and lack of knowledge is resulting in people accepting the wrong treatment in the wrong setting and also wrongly denied NHS funding. We've found many examples of cases where patients have been assessed inadequately in hospital. Worryingly this could have a detrimental affect on the person's health and future levels of care."

The report highlights that two thirds of care home residents have dementia – more than a quarter of a million people, however the vast majority are not in homes set up to care for people with dementia. It also estimates that the number of dementia sufferers will more than triple in the next 50 years.

Your comments (terms and conditions apply):

"As the manager of a care home for older people living with dementia I would certainly agree with Monica Dennis that the question needs to be asked do frontline hospital staff have the training to care for people with dementia? Based on my experiences of the local NHS I would suggest not, and neither do they listen to those that do care 24 hours a day 7 days per week." - Mrs M Parry, North Wales

"The focus of this article is on the lack of training for care workers in nursing homes. It would also be useful to explore whether frontline staff in hospitals are trained to be able to provide the best possible care for dementia sufferers who require hospital treatment and care." - Monica Dennis, Wales

"Nursing people with dementia needs very specific skills to enable the patient and careworker to get the best from the experience. The patient can get a better, more fulfilling life and present less 'challenging behaviour' to the carers, which outweighs the time and cost of training the staff." - Kerry Thyer