England’s top nurses are to be asked to explain what they are doing to improve hospital dementia care in their regions.
A study by the Royal College of Psychiatrists, released in December, found less than one in five hospitals had a system in place to ensure all ward staff know which patients have dementia.
It also found a third of people referred to psychiatry liaison services were not seen within four days.
The national clinical directors for dementia and older people – Professors Alistair Burns and David Oliver – have now written to the nursing directors for each strategic health authority to ask for their reactions to the report.
The letter says the study, together with similarly critical research by the Alzheimer’s Society, were “an opportunity to look, across the board at the quality of care for people with dementia in line with our other priorities of reducing anti-psychotic prescribing, early diagnosis and dementia care in care homes.”
The national directors said they would be looking to help assess the practice in individual trusts and to share good practice.