Welcome to my Blog. I hope you find the posts interesting, informative and perhaps even entertaining(!). I'll update this Blog with my responses to topical stories of the day, important news and tales of my travels up and down the UK, meeting our inspirational nursing staff.

The RCN represents almost 400,000 nurses in the UK and is the country's largest nursing union.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Dealing with Dementia...

Last week, the Alzheimer’s Society released an eye-opening report about the care received by people with dementia in our hospitals. Some of the 700,000 individuals living with dementia in Britain today experience an unacceptable variation in the quality of care and the number of those who suffer from the illness is expected to rise significantly over the next few years.

The report studied the responses of carers, nurses and ward managers. The results are clear - patients with dementia stay in hospital for longer periods of time, which in turn has a detrimental effect not only on their general health, but also on their dementia.

54% of carers said that being in hospital had a detrimental effect on the symptoms of dementia and 47% said that patients’ health was negatively affected by their hospital stay.

A huge proportion of nurses will at some point care for a patient with dementia, but most do not feel able to properly care for these patients.

In our general election manifesto, the RCN has been bold in making improved care for people with long-term conditions one of our key priorities. We are calling on all political parties to guarantee that anyone suffering from an illness like dementia gets the specialist nursing care they require. Patients suffering from dementia should be cared for by experts who know how best to look after their patients and who understand what treatments are needed. Numerous reports have shown that patients who recieve this level of care have fewer complications and rarely need to be readmitted on a regular basis.

Dementia is an illness which touches almost everyone. The ticking time-bomb of an ageing population and increased demands on the health service means that now is the time to invest in better training for all nurses if every patient is to be given the quality of care they deserve.

See the report: http://alzheimers.org.uk/site/scripts/download_info.php?downloadID=356


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