The Care Quality Commission published an update on the state of care in various health conditions as well as various provider sectors. The update raises serious concerns about the care received by people with Dementia. It found that people with Dementia tended to stay longer in hospital, care notes were incorrect, resulting in inappropriate care, people with Dementia had higher rate of readmissions and there was more likelihood of them dying in a hospital as compared to those who did not have Dementia.
The report also found that in certain disease conditions the recording of Dementia was particularly poor. These were eye conditions including cataracts and retinal disorders (56%). They also had a 56% longer lengths of stay when admitted as an emergency and a 126% higher emergency readmission rate than people without Dementia.
In case of emergency admissions with ear conditions (for example, inflammation of middle ear and perforated) the percentages of people with dementia experienced 69% longer lengths of stay and 85%
more emergency readmissions when compared to those without Dementia. People with Dementia who were admitted for muscelo-skeletal conditions experienced 79% longer lengths of stay when admitted as an elective patient.
CQC update also reported in various care provider groups and found some positive improvements in the way home care services protected people from the risk of abuse and the way that home care services planned and delivered the care that people needed.
CQC also carried out a themed inspection of home care services between April and November 2012. It inspected 250 home care agencies, consisting of 208 privately owned agency services, 22 council
owned and 20 owned by voluntary organisations home care services last year. According to the report ‘Not just a number’ it found that many providers were providing good service and there were many good practice examples. However there was still scope for improvement for about a quarter of agencies providing homecare. The key areas of concern were:
• Late and missed visits
• Lack of consistency of care workers
• Lack of support for staff to carry out their work, and failure to address the ongoing issues around travel time
• Poor care planning and a lack of regular review
• Staff understanding of their safeguarding and whistleblowing responsibilities.
Both these reports highlight the need of appropriate care planning and the responsibility of staff in understanding their role in providing high quality care for people with Dementia. This also reinforces the need for robust training and support for care staff. Ensuring that the care provided meets the needs of people with Dementia whether in hospital or in their in home is fundamental to the the dignity and respect of people we care for.