Two Nottinghamshire bodies who report what users of mental health services think about them say findings in a new report ‘suggest they haven’t improved.’
A joint report between Healthwatch Nottingham and Healthwatch Nottinghamshire found that over half of people asked in Notts feel the support given after a patient has been diagnosed with dementia is ‘poor.’
The report also found that over half of people asked had to wait over six weeks to see a specialist to be diagnosed with the mental health disorder.
The standard waiting time is between four and six weeks.
The report comes as the two bodies came together to find out how good dementia services are in the eyes of those who use the services and those who support someone with dementia.
Carers also shared some of their experiences of dementia care that a relative or friend had received.
Dementia is now the leading cause of death in England
In the report, one story said: “My father had been hospitalised for surgery due to a heart condition and he had experienced an unexpectedly slow and difficult recovery; he remained extremely disoriented.
“He remained in the hospital at my insistence.
“We were brushed off initially when we discussed that his recovery difficulties could be attributable to dementia.
“However he was not sent for a scan despite our request and he was discharged and inappropriately offered treatment for depression.”
The report also found that a majority of people with dementia who were asked said that they found it difficult to get an appointment with a specialist.
Chief executive of Healthwatch Nottinghamshire Jez Alcock said: “Latest figures reveal that dementia is now the leading cause of death in England so it is important that affected people are adequately supported.
“The findings of our report show that there is a need to improve waiting times from the point of referral to diagnosis.
“There needs to be a particular focus on reducing inequality between City and County residents.”
Notts Police also announced yesterday (Thursday December 15) that they have launched a scheme called Herbert Protocol designed to help find people with dementia related illnesses if they go missing.
We hope this will give vulnerable people reassurance and peace of mind
PC Katie Bridger said: “We know that when someone goes missing it is an upsetting and stressful time for family and friends who often are too distraught to be able to relay all the information that could assist us.
“It doesn’t take long to fill in the form which could assist in reducing valuable time in gathering information.
“We hope that the Herbert Protocol will provide those who are living with people who are vulnerable with some reassurance and peace of mind.”
The Herbert Protocol initiative is named after George Herbert, a war veteran of the Normandy landings, who lived with dementia.
Police are urging people to fill out a form ready to hand to the force if a person with a dementia related illness does missing.