Chief nurse: ‘Cut hospital beds to increase care at home’


Cutting hospital beds and using the money for care at home could mean better treatment for patients, according to NHS England’s chief nursing officer.

Prof Jane Cummings writes in the Daily Telegraph that freeing up the money put into “old and expensive buildings” is one way the health service can improve.

Staying in hospital too long can often make patients more ill, she claims.

The Patients’ Association said social care and the NHS needed to integrate.

Prof Cummings said “outdated models of care” needed to change.

‘Personalised care’

The article is in response to a review set up by the NHS which split England into 44 areas, ordering local managers and councils to come up with sustainability and transformation plans to improve efficiency.

Describing an NHS organisation in Devon, Prof Cummings said: “[It] wants to invest in home-based care, but it struggles because resources are currently tied up in hospital beds.”

“Many patients stay in those beds for too long, because home care is not available, often becoming more ill as a result.

“And more people can be better looked after, with care personalised to their needs.”

‘Great strides’

Dr Mike Smith, a Patients’ Association trustee, said figures showed that patients recover more quickly if they are in a place they are happy with.

“In most cases, when they are not in need of acute services, this is in their own home,” he said.

“Quite often, out of hours and at weekends, the only way they can talk to a health care professional is to go to an A&E department and two out of five do not need to be there.”

He said the current system “had to change”, adding that NHS England was making “great strides” to integrate social care treatment.

‘Maximum value’

NHS England is estimated to spend about £820m a year treating older patients in hospital when they no longer need acute clinical care.

Prof Cummings said there would always be “vigorous debate” over how much money the government puts into the system.

She said the job of health professionals was to “squeeze the maximum value” from the budgets they were given.

“That means changing outdated models of care so that patients don’t fall into cracks between different parts of the system and ensuring that we provide care based around their needs, and not those of NHS organisations,” she said.

“Since 1948, the NHS has adapted itself constantly and it must continue to do so as the world and our health needs will continue to change.”







Raising Awareness of Dementia


September is World Alzheimer’s Month

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, with it accounting for 90% of cases. Did you know that around the world, someone is diagnosed with dementia every THREE seconds?

By 2050, an estimated 131 million people will be suffering with the disease.

That’s why we need to raise awareness of the disease; about its impact and how we can treat and prevent it.

Every year there is a theme.

The theme for this year is a campaign called Remember Me to encourage people to remember family, friends or loved ones who are living with dementia or who may have passed away after living with the disease.

To do this, you will need to submit a photo or message about that person. Alternatively, you can share your message or photo on social media using the hashtags #RememberMe or #WAM2016.

You can also raise general awareness of the disease by sharing the materials provided by Alzheimer’s Disease International.

What are the early warning signs of dementia?

  • General memory loss that affects every day life – such as completing simple or familiar tasks;
  • Misplacing items;
  • Confusion with days, time or locations;
  • Withdrawal from hobbies, work or other leisure activities;
  • Changes in mood and personality.

21st September is also World Alzheimer’s Day. Get involved with the conversations on social media by using the hashtag #WAM2016.


Father and Son sing in aid of Alzheimer’s


Carpool Karaoke with a twist

You might have seen the likes of James Corden with various celebrity passengers, singing their hearts out around L.A.

This video is slightly different, it is of a UK duo: 80 year-old father (Ted) and 40 year-old son (Simon). What makes it special is that Ted was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2013 and now struggles due to his declining memory, however, this song takes him back to singing at Butlins in his youth. It was at Butlins that he earned a nickname: The Songaminute Man.

You might have already seen this wonderfully heartwarming (and viral) video circulating around the internet already, but if you haven’t, here it is in its full glory. (If you don’t know Quando, Quando, Quando, it was performed by Englebert Humperdinck.)


As you can hear, Ted certainly hasn’t forgotten how to sing!

Simon set up a JustGiving page to help raise awareness and funds to fight dementia. The video has already racked up millions of views, and over £65,000 to the Alzheimer’s Society.

Donate here.


Find out more about the specialist care we offer, including care for people with Alzheimer’s, here.