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BBC 2 Hospital: the NHS, dementia & continuing healthcare

Episode three of the current BBC2’s Hospital series provides an eye opening and very raw insight into the stress delays in obtaining NHS continuing healthcare can cause patients and family members.

The episode explored the reality the NHS faces daily when dealing with the many patients who attend A&E hoping that the NHS can pick up the pieces.

It focused on two patients both of whom have advanced dementia.

75-year-old Carl’s dementia had dramatically worsened and he ended up in A&E after becaming aggressive at home. After 11 days, Carl was deemed medically fit to leave hospital but unfortunately they sent him home without carrying out a continuing healthcare assessment which would have identified the severity of his challenging behaviour. After his behaviour continued to deteriorate at home, resulting in him hitting his wife, he was admitted (6 weeks after hospital discharge) to the Acute Medical Unit (AMU) because his family couldn’t safely manage his behaviour at home

85-year-old Stanley, was brought to A&E after police found him wandering the streets semi-naked. His dementia lead to him exhibiting unpredictable and challenging behaviour and his family want the hospital to find him a nursing home place, but at a cost of £1700 per week plus an additional £2300 for his specialist 1 to 1 care, finding a home proved to be challenging as not every nursing home is set up to be able to manage such demanding behaviour. Worryingly, the Multi Disciplinary Team assessment meeting for continuing healthcare appeared to take place without the family in attendance which is against the NHS National Framework recommendations.

Be prepared to have tissues at the ready whilst watching this episode, it really does give an emotive insight into life with dementia and all the uphill struggles family and medical staff face daily.

Our guide to dementia and continuing healthcare can be found here.

If any scenarios in the episode ring true for you, we would urge you to get in touch with our Specialist Advisors to discuss how NHS continuing healthcare may be available for your relative. Our expert advisors can assist by explaining the ins and outs of what can be a perplexing and complicated process. There is no time limit placed on this initial free, no obligation consultation. Should you wish to discuss matters further, do not hesitate to contact us directly on 0121 227 8940.

Author: Tim Davies LLB

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