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Open letter calls for increased access to dementia nursing in hospitals

Open letter calls for increased access to dementia nursing in hospitals

Access to specialist dementia nursing in hospitals must increase to ensure people with the condition receive appropriate care, a leading charity has urged.

Dementia UK has delivered an open letter calling on the next government to address the ‘huge gaps’ in health and social care which it says are leaving people with dementia ‘isolated and unsupported’.

The letter, addressed to all political parties and signed by 13,000 people, echoes demands from the charity’s recently published manifesto ‘Put dementia on the agenda’.

The manifesto sets out four key focuses for the next government in terms of dementia care, including the need to ‘increase access to specialist dementia nursing in hospitals’.

Dementia UK pointed to research from the Alzheimer’s Society which suggested only 2% of people believe that all hospital staff ‘understand the needs of people with dementia’ and that this resulted in ‘inadequate hospital care for those living with the condition’.

Other calls from the charity to the next government include:

  • Fix the NHS continuing healthcare funding (CHC) process;
  • Deliver expert and personalised support for people after a dementia diagnosis; and
  • Improve diagnosis rates and age-appropriate support for people with young-onset dementia

Dementia UK’s head of policy, campaigns and public affairs Andrew Pike said: ‘Dementia is a huge and growing health crisis and during the first year of the new government, the number of people living with dementia in the UK is expected to exceed one million.

‘Despite numerous plans and strategies being announced over the years, we have seen little action on dementia, and families affected by dementia missing out on the specialist support that they need.’

He added: ‘With health and social care services more stretched than ever, it is essential that the next government listens to the thousands of people who have signed this letter and act on improving dementia care immediately.’

Last year Nursing in Practice interviewed specialist dementia nurse Liz Tomlinson around the difference she and her colleagues are making in primary care settings.

And an exclusive survey carried out with our sister titles recently revealed community and primary care want to see the next government prioritise ‘better pay’ for all healthcare staff.

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