Dr Katherine Sleeman has won a prestigious prize (including £1000 bursary) for the most outstanding paper by an Academic Clinical Lecturer at King’s College London. The paper (Reversal of English trend towards hospital death in dementia: a population-based study of place of death and associated individual and regional factors, 2001–2010) used mortality records to examine trends over time in where people with dementia die. This is an important question as England has one of the highest rates of hospital death amongst people with dementia in Europe, though how this has changed over in response to policy initiatives is not known.
The study found that while two in five people with dementia die in hospital, the trend towards increasing hospital deaths between 2001-2005 has reversed, and the proportion of people dying in care homes is now increasing. Care home deaths were more likely amongst people living in less deprived areas, and areas with greater care home bed provision. Very few people with dementia die at home (less than 5% overall) or hospice (less than 1%), though this was more common amongst people living in less deprived areas and for those with cancer. The study identifies the need for initiatives which aim to support the end of life preferences for people with dementia.
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