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Poor services for dementia patients

People with dementia are not receiving care that meets their needs because services are struggling to cope, according to the Care Quality Commission's (CQC) latest report. 

Findings from the Care Update show people with dementia living in a care home are more likely to be hospitalised for avoidable conditions such as urinary tract infections than people without dementia. 

They are then more likely to stay in hospital, be readmitted and die there than people who do not have dementia. 

The CQC said care services should do more to ensure people get safe, good quality care. 

“The people in charge of care homes and hospitals must work better, individually and together to ensure the right services are in place for people with dementia and their staff must be trained to identify dementia,” CQC chief executive David Behan said. 

Serious concerns

The Care Update, based on more than 20,000 CQC inspections between 1 April and 31 December 2012, also highlighted concerns over the quality of services for people with mental health issues and learning disabilities. 

Royal College of Nursing (RCN) chief executive Dr Peter Carter said: “We are also seriously concerned by the finding of reduced staffing levels for learning disability and mental health services over the last two years.

“If this continues, it is clear that the effect of cuts will be felt by the most vulnerable.” 

The quality of mental health and learning disability services is “not improving quickly enough” after recommendations made following allegations of abuse at Winterboune View. 

“CQC expected improvements to be made more quickly. We are still seeing too many independent mental health and learning disability services not delivering care that puts people first,” Behan said.