Monday 27th October 2014


Being in hospital can be a daunting experience for anyone. But as the dementia care standards state, for a person with dementia whose ability to reason and remember is impaired, it can be particularly hard.

So it’s of concern that a recent report from Scotland’s health inspection agency, has said that in certain regards Inverclyde Royal Hospital is failing to provide the appropriate levels of care for people with dementia. 

Indeed, Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) asked NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde to make improvements in several areas, which the health board must address “as a matter of priority”.

HIS found a lack of information in care plans outlining the individual needs of patients. In one instance they found a patient who needed help with eating and drinking, but that this had not been recorded.

They also highlighted the lack of adaptions in wards to help orientate patients. They said that signage in the hospital was poor and ‘way finding’ could be difficult. Moreover, they said that the wards were very cluttered increasing the risk of falls.

Worryingly, there is nothing new in this report. Practically all the issues that have been raised were also highlighted in Healthcare Improvement Scotland’s very first inspection report published over two and a half years ago.

Rather than being pro-active in their approach, it would appear that the health board perceives each inspection as an event simply to get through.

The Scottish Government has published two dementia strategies in the last four years but we are still not seeing the vital improvements on the ground. They have been rich in policy but poor on delivery.

Its time it put its words into action, and ensures that when people with dementia are admitted to hospital, they are treated with dignity and respect at all times.