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People with dementia ‘being dumped in hospital’

Emergency admissions have risen by 100,000 since 2012-13

People with dementia are being dumped in hospital and left there, a charity has found.

An analysis of emergency admissions by the Alzheimer’s Society found there were 379,000 cases where dementia had been recorded on admission in 2017-18, a rise of 100,000 since 2012-13.

Around 40,000 of the dementia admissions – one in 10 – spent longer than 28 days in hospital.

The charity believes a quarter of patients in hospital at any one point will have dementia.

Jeremy Hughes, chief executive of the Alzheimer’s Society, said people were falling through the “cracks of our broken social care system”.

“People with dementia are all too often being dumped in hospital and left there. Many are only admitted because there’s no social care support to keep them safe at home,” he argued.

Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said the figures reveal how the system is letting down people with dementia and putting hospitals under unnecessary and intolerable strain.

“Unless something is done now it can only get worse,” he warned. “The government has promised reform but unless we find an answer soon, backed up by long-term funding, this tragedy will go blighting the lives of affecting hundreds of thousands of people with dementia and their families.”