Experts in ageing and mental health at Staffordshire University have called for more training and education to address the shortcomings in older peoples care.
This follows on from a national report which highlights that many hospitals are failing to provide even basic standards of care to elderly patients.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) report, published today, highlights that it is older people in Acute General hospitals who experience the greatest problems in obtaining even basic standards of care and dignity.
The University’s Centre for Ageing and Mental Health have worked for a number of years to address the issues experienced by older people and in 2009 established a programme called the 4D’s focusing on Dementia, Delirium, Depression and Dignity.
This intensive two day programme has been delivered to a number of NHS Acute Hospital Trusts across the West Midlands, including the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust.
Senior Academic Derek Beeston said: ”This timely and important report summarises the findings of the recent inspections carried out on 100 Acute NHS Hospitals in England.
“The Centre has, for some time now, been highlighting the fact that on any single day of the week about two thirds of in-patient beds in Acute General Hospitals are occupied by people over the age of 60, and about half of this group will have to some degree, either a dementia, delirium, or depression in addition to the acute problem that brought them into hospital in the first place.
“Many hospital staff lack training and education in dealing with these illnesses; and this is further compounded by a great deal of stigma and misunderstanding about older people and their needs.”
Derek said the 4D programme developed by the centre was helping health professionals to improve the service for older people.
He added: “The Centre for Ageing and Mental Health has research evidence that this programme has had a significant impact on the quality of care for old people in acute hospitals and believe it is an essential component in addressing the precise issues highlighted in the CQC report.
“We would like to highlight the need for such training and education to ALL Acute General Hospital Trusts.”
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