Increase in number of dementia patients admitted to hospital

An increasing number of dementia patients are being admitted to hospital emergency wards.

An increasing number of dementia patients are being admitted to hospital emergency wards. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

An increasing number of people with dementia from North Somerset are being admitted to hospital emergency rooms due to a lack of support in the community, according to a leading charity.

There were 1,520 emergency admissions of people with dementia across North Somerset in 2017-18 - an increase of 51.24 per cent in five years and higher than the national average at just over 35 per cent.

Thousands of patients with dementia were also left stranded in hospital for more than a month, according to the Alzheimer's Society.

The charity has attributed the rise to the scarcity of appropriate support and paucity of care home places able to provide specialist dementia care.

Marion Child, from the Alzheimer's Society's, said: "People with dementia are all too often being dumped in hospital and left there for long stays.

"Many are only admitted because there's no social care support to keep them safe at home. They are commonly spending more than twice as long in hospital as needed, confused and scared. This costs the NHS millions of pounds for the want of properly funded social care."

The Alzheimer's Society estimates the total spend for the NHS caused by the increase in emergency admissions of people with dementia last year was more than £280million.

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The charity said people with dementia were 'left to fall through the cracks', as they are prone to avoidable emergencies like falls, dehydration and infections because of scarce, inadequate and costly social care.

A spokesperson for NHS Bristol, North Somerset & South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group said: "As with other areas of the country, North Somerset's ageing population means more people are living with dementia, and they should only be admitted to hospital when absolutely necessary.

"We are working with North Somerset Council, as lead commissioners for social care, and other partners to improve community services to ensure everyone gets the best quality care closer to home, avoiding the crises that can lead to emergency hospital admissions."

The Alzheimer's Society wants free universal care for dementia patients. To back the campaign, see