Incidences of death recorded as connected to dementia have doubled since 2001, research from Public Health England has found.
The figures show the number of deaths with a mention of dementia made up 6.6% of all deaths in 2001, compared with 15.8% of deaths in 2014. PHE has said that this is likely due to an increase in awareness and correct recording of dementia.
‘High quality end of life care is a key aspect of the quality of dementia services. This report highlights some important measures of end of life in people with dementia and is helpful in raising the profile of this crucial aspect of dementia care,’ said Alistair Burns, national clinical director for dementia for NHS England.
The report also found evidence that people who are in more deprived demographics die with dementia at a younger age than those in higher socioeconomic categories. PHE also identified variation between the place of death for people who have dementia and the general population. People with dementia are more likely to die in hospitals and care homes and are less likely to die at home or in end of life care settings such as hospices.
‘Service commissioners and service providers now need to critically examine current care provision for people with dementia, especially their access to existing community and specialist end of life services, with a view to introducing better systems to facilitate preferred place of care and reduce unnecessary hospital admissions and care transitions in the last year of life,’ said Louise Robinson, director of the Newcastle University Institute for Ageing.