Doncaster dementia patients missing out on "vital" care reviews

People living with dementia in Doncaster missed out on potentially vital care reviews they were entitled to last year, figures suggest.

Wednesday, 26th January 2022, 10:59 am

NHS guidance states dementia patients’ mental and physical wellbeing should be re-assessed in a face-to-face review every 12 months, as they are more likely to suffer from depression and less likely to report physical problems.

Charity Alzheimer’s Society warned outdated care plans may increase the chances of those living with dementia being rushed to hospital for issues that could have been prevented with good care, such as falls and infections.

Figures from the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities show 966 dementia patients in the NHS Doncaster CCG area had their care plan reassessed in the year to March – 39% of those with a diagnosis.

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NHS guidance states dementia patients’ mental and physical wellbeing should be re-assessed in a face-to-face review every 12 months

This was a sharp drop from 2019-20, when 72 per cent of patients received a dementia care review.

Across England, the proportion of those receiving a care review dropped dramatically, from 75 per cent in 2019-20 to 40 per cent last year.

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Gavin Terry, head of policy at the Alzheimer’s Society said: “This drastic drop in the number of people with dementia getting their care plans reviewed over the past two years is yet more evidence of just how badly hit they have been by the Covid pandemic.

"Despite the best efforts of our brilliant NHS and care staff, people with dementia have seen their routine care continually paused and people with dementia had the highest death rate from Covid."

The figures also show that across England, the rate of people living with a dementia diagnosis has also dropped, from 0.79 per cent of those registered with a GP in 2019-20, to 0.71 per cent in 2020-21.

The prevalence among people of all ages across Doncaster was 0.76 per cent in 2020-21, lower than 0.87 per cent in 2019-20.

The Alzheimer’s Society is calling on the Government to increase funding to decrease the backlog of people waiting for a formal diagnosis.

Mr Terry said: "We know the pandemic has prevented tens of thousands of people from getting an all-important dementia diagnosis.

"We’re calling for urgent action from the Government, so people can access the vital support and treatments a diagnosis brings."

The Free Press contacted NHS Doncaster CCG for a comment.

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