NHS guidance states dementia patients’ mental and physical wellbeing should be re-assessed in a face-to-face review every 12 months, as they are more likely to suffer from depression and less likely to report physical problems.
But data from the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities show 2,232 dementia patients in the NHS Tees Valley CCG area – just 37% of those with a diagnosis – had their care plan reassessed in the year to March.
This was a sharp drop from 2019-20, when 76% received a dementia care review.
Nationally, the proportion of those receiving a care review dropped dramatically, from 75% in 2019-20 to 40% last year.
The Alzheimer’s Society charity warned outdated care plans may increase the chances of those living with dementia being rushed to hospital for issues that could have been prevented with good care, such as falls and infections.
Gavin Terry, head of policy at the Alzheimer’s Society said: “This drastic drop in care plan reviews is yet more evidence of just how badly hit people with dementia have been by the Covid pandemic despite the best efforts of our brilliant NHS and care staff."
The Government said it was investing £375m in neurodegenerative disease research – including for dementia – over the next five years.
A Department for Health and Social Care spokeswoman said: "We want a society where every person with dementia, and their families and carers, receive high quality, compassionate care from diagnosis through to end of life.”