Call made for providers to have greater role in dementia care
An organisation has called for a greater role for specialist housing providers when dealing with people with dementia as a report says £1 billion could be freed up for community services by reducing hospital beds.
Housing 21, which provides housing, care and support for elderly people, said that specialist providers could help reduce the cost of dementia care even more.
The group, which provides around 124,000 hours of community care each week and manages 18,200 sheltered and extra care, made the claim on today’s release of the All-Party Parliamentary Group Report into Dementia.
The report, The £20 Billion Question, said that up to a quarter of hospital beds are currently taken up by people with dementia and reducing the number of beds by 10 per cent could save £1 billion.
Pushpa Raguvaran, chief executive of Housing 21, said: ‘Housing 21 welcomes the All-Party Parliamentary Group’s recommendation to free up funds for community-based dementia care.
‘However, we would have liked to have seen greater debate around the role that specialist housing, such as ‘extra care’, can play in providing a value for money solution.
‘We are already finding that appropriate care, support and health interventions for people in their own homes can both prevent hospital admissions and speed up hospital discharge.
‘The call for better co-ordination across the system is particularly welcome, particularly if this includes housing and home care.’
According to the report, just £141 million would be enough to give every person with dementia in the UK access to a dementia adviser while £68 million would be needed to provide all care homes in the country with support from the NHS to improve care and cut the use of antipsychotic drugs.
Ms Raguvan said: ‘Our Dementia Adviser role, which is a single point of contact coordinating access to care, and support is helping people with dementia to remain in their own homes for longer.
‘Along with multi-skilled personal assistant teams, that put the person with dementia at the heart of service delivery, these community-based services are both helping to avoid inappropriate hospital admissions as well as shorten hospital stays.
‘We have the evidence that it is possible to improve dementia care; it can be done for less and with greater quality than it’s costing now.’
Jeremy Hughes, chief executive at Alzheimer’s Society, said: ‘Most people with dementia want to be in their own home and minimise the time they are in hospital.
‘But too often this simply is not possible because they are not given the right support at the right time.
‘If we take action now, we can reduce hospital admissions, reduce length of stay and improve quality of life for people with dementia.’