Patients aged 75 and over can now benefit from a ground breaking new screening assessment being offered by Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
An Initial Dementia Risk Assessment has been launched at the Trust, to help identify patients in hospital with dementia, alongside their other medical conditions so a prompt referral and follow up can happen after they leave hospital.
The form will be completed by a doctor as part of the administration process for inpatient admissions. All patients aged 75 and over will be asked a dementia screening question and, if appropriate, a diagnostic assessment, so they can be referred to Lancashire Care’s Mental Health Liaison for Older People service for further memory assessment if needed. The assessment will also screen patients for delirium.
This innovative new service has been developed as part of the hospital’s dementia care strategy and the Department of Health’s ‘Commissioning for Quality and Innovation (CQUIN) payment framework’, which has made a national commitment to raise the profile of dementia care in general hospitals and improve post discharge support over the next few years.
Dementia affects an estimated 670,000 people in England and with an ever ageing population means the number of people with dementia is projected to increase by around a third by 2021. Currently, only around 42% of people with dementia in England have a formal diagnosis despite the fact that timely diagnosis can greatly improve the quality of life of the person with dementia by preventing crises such as falls and emergency hospital admissions, and offers support to carers who are invariably under stress. 40% of people over 75 admitted acutely to hospital have dementia alongside their other conditions and half of these have not been diagnosed before admission.