Marie Curie’s dementia in care homes report – one for the wastepaper bin
By Caring Times editor Geoff Hodgson
Last week the national palliative care charity Marie Curie published a report on end of life care for people with advanced dementia in care homes. The press release accompanying the launch was headed “Care homes struggle to care for residents with advanced dementia”. The report received national media coverage, including an interview with one of the report’s authors on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
Anyone who reads the report will see that it is based on interviews with 14 healthcare professionals: three healthcare assistants, one nurse, one clinical nurse manager, one clinical manager who manages a memory clinic service in an NHS-based organisation, two care home managers, one admiral nurse lead, one mental health nurse, one specialist mental health nurse and one occupational therapist – I wonder what questions were put to them.
No relatives of care home residents were interviewed and there is no mention in the report of such programmes as the Gold Standard Framework for end of life care in care homes. Nor was there any mention of the many training initiatives taken by care home operators in this area.
This blog needs to be brief: suffice it to say that I am confident that anyone with any knowledge of the sector who reads the report – http://dem.sagepub.com/content/early/2016/03/01/1471301216636302.full.pdf?ijkey=PzdYzKiifp47UEB&keytype=finite – will agree that it lacks credibility and is gratuitously alarmist, needlessly adding to the stress of families who have loved ones with dementia in care homes.
Marie Curie’s symbol is a daffodil – a narcissus – perhaps, like the Narcissus of myth, the charity should take a good look at itself.
- The CT Blog is written in a personal capacity – comments and opinions expressed are not necessarily endorsed or supported by Caring Times.