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Dementia screening rises for elderly in hospital

The maternity ward at St Richard's Hospital


Picture by Louise Adams C140028-1 Chi St Richard's Hospital

The maternity ward at St Richard's Hospital Picture by Louise Adams C140028-1 Chi St Richard's Hospital

DEMENTIA patients have more chance of receiving early treatment – thanks to alert hospital staff.

More than 90 per cent of elderly patients who are admitted for emergency treatment are now screened for dementia by teams at Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust.

The trust, which runs St Richard’s Hospital, has increased screening by 80 per cent – with more than 300 people being alerted to their GPs for further checks.

“Detecting a dementia early can make a real difference to someone’s quality of life, 
and the lives of those caring for them,” said matron Katrina O’Shea.

“That is why we have made such an effort to drive up the number of assessments we do, and the figures show just how successful those efforts have been.

“We have a duty to our patients and their families, not only to give them the best care that we can, but also to make sure they are getting the most from other local services as well.

“Our staff did carry out these checks in the past, but it was often quite ad hoc – now there is a concerted effort to assess this group of vulnerable patients properly, so they can get the support they need when they leave our care.”

Early diagnosis of dementia is essential – not only are treatments more effective in the early stages of the disease, but it also gives families time to plan and prepare for the future.

 

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