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Farron calls for better dementia training for nurses

January 26, 2012 2:44 PM

Tim and the Lib Dems at WGHFollowing the revelation that no nurses on the Langdale unit at Westmorland General Hospital have been given access to nationally recognised dementia training, South Lakes MP Tim Farron has called on the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust to urgently step up support for its nurses.

Langdale North and South Wards provide rehabilitation and end of life care for over 50 patients, including a large number suffering from dementia, yet no staff from either ward have been given any official training on how to care for dementia patients.

This training is vital for the health of those suffering with dementia, over half of whom leave hospital with poorer dementia symptoms after a stay in hospital, becoming more dependent and confused. Improving care could save at least £80 million a year care by reducing the time patients spend in hospital by just one week, research by the Alzheimer's society shows.

Commenting, Tim said: "I am very disturbed by this finding. A very large number of patients on the Langdale wards have dementia - the nurses who look after them are wonderful, but it's outrageous that they haven't been given dementia training. Given that the number of people with dementia in England is expected to double in the next 30 years, we urgently need to provide access to this training. Our nurses are doing a brilliant job in stressful conditions and deserve all the support they can get.

Anyone with personal experience of dementia understands how distressing and disorientating hospital can be for sufferers. The fact that this training would also save money for the NHS only highlights how shocking it is that it has not been made a priority."