Hartlepool councillors praise progress in dementia care and reduction of hospital mortality rates
Health bosses have reported positive progress over the past year in relation to dementia diagnosis and reducing hospital mortality rates.
The findings came as Hartlepool Borough Council audit and governance committee received the quality accounts for 2018/19 from the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust.
The figures are a combination of findings from both the University Hospital of North Tees and the University Hospital of Hartlepool.
The number of deaths at the hospitals from April 2018 to February 2019 was 1,340, dropping from 1,450 for the same time period the previous year.
Lindsey Robertson, deputy director of nursing, patient safety and quality, said this was for a number of reasons, including a winter not as bad as previously expected.
She said: “Key points here are that we haven’t had the flu we expected that we got the year before. We had a really successful immunisation campaign against that and it was the right strain of flu this year so we were immunised against it.
“We haven’t had the hard winter that we thought we were going to have and the subsequent issues that come with that.
“We’re developing services so people are home if they want to be, and if they want to die at home. We’ve got a number of services to wrap around people to include that.
“It’s a multitude of things we’re doing to make sure people have the right care at the right time.”
Elsewhere the number of dementia admissions increased for the year, but hospital bosses said this was a positive due to increased awareness and care.
The number of patients admitted to the trust with a diagnosis of dementia/delirium increased again to 3,843, as it has each year since 2013/14, when it was just 1,833.
For 2016/17 the number was 3,006 for the same April to February period, rising to 3,324 in 2017/18.
Keith Wheldon, safety and quality performance manager, said: “It’s a year on year increase, more of the population is getting older, and there is better diagnosis as well in hospital. The numbers are consistently going up each year.”
Coun Jim Lindrige said: “I think it’s inevitable that these stats are going to go up, the more work we can put in to help these people and the families, they’re going to be requesting more referrals to be diagnosed. Unfortunately it’s something that is just going to go up.”
Dr Chris Lanigan from the Tes, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust added the area is one of the best nationwide for detecting dementia.
He said: “Across Stockton and Hartlepool we have some of the highest detection rates in the country in relation to dementia which is a really good news story in terms of our ability to then give people the right care and treatment.”
Coun Brenda Loynes noted nationally the dementia detection rate was 67%, compared to 80% in Hartlepool.
Nic Marko , Local Democracy Reporting Service