Emergency dementia admissions are traumatic – do you have the skills for timely diagnosis?

25th July 2017

As the latest figures on dementia prevalence in England are published by NHS Digital, Education for Health’s Dementia Education Lead Rhian Last is urging practice nurses to support patients to avoid crises.

Rhian LastWith more than 200,000 patients over the age of 65 admitted to hospital in an emergency with a diagnosis of dementia in 2016/17, Rhian hopes that GPs and commissioners can see the value of avoiding as many of those emergencies as possible.

She said: “An emergency admission can be a traumatic experience for anyone, but for a person living with dementia this is especially so.

“Timely diagnosis is very important – and handling those difficult conversations effectively and efficiently means that the person and their family members or carers have the right information and signposting to resources that will help them to live well with their dementia.

“Not only that, it will help so many of them avoid the trauma and distress of crisis situations.”

NHS Digital Dementia statistics
©2017 Health and Social Care Information Centre.

Key facts in the Recorded Dementia Diagnoses report include:

  • 422,000 people aged 65 and over in England have a recorded dementia diagnosis. This represents 1 in 23 people aged 65+ registered with a GP
  • 207,797 unique patients aged 65 and over admitted to hospital in an emergency with a diagnosis of dementia (provisional data)
  • Dementia is more common in people with learning disabilities, particularly for individuals with Down’s syndrome who appear to develop dementia at younger ages

Education for Health’s dementia workshop crosses a wide range of skills needed to work with patients with dementia, including recognition, assessment and meeting the challenges after diagnosis.

It can be run anywhere in the UK, for example for a CCG or a GP Federation, for groups of 15-25 people, please contact nhsteam@educationforhealth.org to find out more.