Dementia Patients 'Suffer under NHS Care'

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Byline: Jenny Hope Medical Correspondent

THOUSANDS of dementia patients are suffering at the hands of undertrained hospital staff who fail to treat them as individuals and ignore their calls for help, a report has found.

Patients are deprived of the simple comfort of seeing family photos or cards.

On almost two out of three wards, or 59 per cent, personal items are not situated where they can reassure patients who are often frightened and confused, the first National Audit of Dementia, covering 210 hospitals in England and Wales, says.

Just one in three staff said they had sufficient training in caring for those suffering from dementia and half are not properly trained to communicate with those suffering from Alzheimer's or deal with aggressive behaviour.

The report criticised the 'impersonal' way in which dementia patients are treated - despite them occupying a quarter of beds.

Staff do not always greet or talk to patients during care. …