At least 1,400 people with dementia will be stranded in a hospital ward over Christmas due to a lack of social care funding, a new investigation has revealed.
The Alzheimer’s Society found people with dementia are being delayed in hospital up to ten times as long as those without the condition.
Despite being well enough to go home, the investigation discovered people with dementia spent 500,000 extra days in hospital, costing the NHS over £170m.
‘With such scarce social care funding, wards are being turned into waiting rooms, and safety is being jeopardised,’ said Jeremy Hughes, chief executive at Alzheimer’s Society.
He added: ‘One million people will have dementia by 2021, yet local authorities’ social care budgets are woefully inadequate, and no new money has been promised in the budget to cope with increasing demand.
‘Government attention must be focussed on social care, and pounds put behind their promises, to alleviate the pressure on our NHS hospitals, and the suffering of people with dementia on its wards.’
Cllr Izzi Seccombe, chairman of the Local Government Association's Community Wellbeing Board, said: 'Councils are doing all they can to get people out of hospital safely and quickly and delays attributable to social care are down 7.2% from July to September.
'Councils are also playing a leading role in improving the lives of people with dementia and their families through all of the services they provide, including housing, transport, leisure services, social care, public health and community safety.
'However, fundamental changes to the way we fund adult social care are needed if we are to deliver a long-term sustainable system that works for everyone in society and meets their needs with safe and high-quality services.'