Latest Public Sector News


‘Safety being jeopardised’ as care cuts to leave many stranded in hospital at Christmas

A lack of appropriate social care funding will see at least 1,400 people with dementia stuck in hospital over the Christmas period, despite being well enough to go home.

Research from the Alzheimer’s Society shows dementia patients will be forced to wait 10 times longer in hospital wards than people with other illnesses. The problem is caused by people who are healthy enough to be treated out of hospital but have no access to the appropriate care.

The society’s investigation found that patients with dementia who were well enough to go home spent a total of 500,000 extra days in hospital last year – at a cost of £170m to the NHS.

However, because of a reported £2bn funding shortfall for local social care services, councils cannot provision facilities properly to deal with the volume of patients necessary.

Further to this, long stays in a hospital ward can have life-changing effects on a dementia patient, often making health issues worse as people become frailer with lack of movement, meaning they cannot be discharged to their homes.

Jeremy Hughes, chief executive at Alzheimer’s Society, commented: “One million people will have dementia by 2021, yet local authorities’ social care budgets are woefully inadequate, and no new money has been promised in the budget to cope with increasing demand.

“Government attention must be focused on social care, and pounds put behind their promises, to alleviate the pressure on our NHS hospitals, and the suffering of people with dementia on its wards.”

Dawne Garrett, Royal College of Nursing professional lead for the care of older people and dementia, said her organisation was surprised to see a lack of funding revealed in last month’s Autumn Budget.

“Nursing staff know better than anyone how often patients with dementia are stranded in hospital when they could be discharged, if only they had more social support,” she explained. “Hospital is not the best place for people living with dementia, where they are at risk of falling or contracting an infection.

“The College was very concerned to see no extra resources announced for social care in last month’s Budget, and backs Alzheimer’s Society’s call for increased funding for local authorities so that they can give more support to people leaving hospital.”

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become a PSE columnist? If so, click here.


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

public sector executive tv

more videos >

last word

Prevention: Investing for the future

Prevention: Investing for the future

Rob Whiteman, CEO at the Chartered Institute of Public Finance (CIPFA), discusses the benefits of long-term preventative investment. Rising demand, reducing resource – this has been the r more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News


Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >
How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

19/06/2019How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

Tom Chance, director at the National Community Land Trust Network, argues t... more >


Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need ... more >