Levels of care being given to dementia sufferers in specialist NHS units have been criticized in a new report by the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland.
According to The Scotsman, while treatment in the large majority of cases is caring and considerate, the report raised several worrying concerns.
“Chief among these is the growing incidence of hospitalized dementia patients being given drugs to help manage their behavior.
“Specifically, its report finds that 84 per cent of patients were on at least one psychotropic drug, with 34 per cent on three or more.”
More worringly, the reviewers also raised the possibility that, in some cases, treatment may be given without proper authorization.
Psychotropic drugs are used to address the symptoms of mental disorders. They work to change the lives of people with mental disorders for the better and, without them, many might suffer serious and disabling symptoms.
But there can be side effects and must be monitored carefully.
High resort to medicines to tackle anxiety was found, with 52 per cent of patients being prescribed these.
Further the report found “units where the care and/or the environment were poor, and the rights and dignity of people with dementia were not adequately respected.”