CALLS to “cure the care system” have been made in the North-East following the reported rise in dementia sufferers attending hospital.

An Alzheimer’s Society investigation has revealed a 27-per cent increase in people with dementia being admitted to hospitals, due to what it claims to be “inadequacies” in social care, between 2015 and 2019.

The findings are released at the start of Dementia Action Week, in which the society is releasing a hard-hitting television advertisement, calling on the Government to ‘cure the care system’.

Supported by billboard advertising, the advert is said to expose the stark reality of being a dementia carer without adequate support.

Christine Everatt, 71, of Durham, is backing the campaign.

Her husband John was diagnosed with vascular dementia in 2011, aged just 62, and she has found caring for him during the pandemic, with minimal support, particularly stressful.

She said the cost of care is a constant worry, particularly as her husband, a former public school housemaster, is still relatively young.

“It’s so hard to watch the person you know and love deteriorate before your eyes. It’s like a slow bereavement.

“It seems to me that dementia is a Cinderella condition because it just doesn’t get the support it deserves.”

The charity’s findings were revealed as it issued a stark message to the Government by displaying a giant prescription alongside the Angel of the North, in Gateshead.

Among those at the event was the son of former Tyne Tees TV presenter and actor Bill Steel, who is living with dementia.

Christian Steel, an actor and comedian, from Newcastle, said his father was diagnosed six years ago and his mother, Isabel, who died last year, found it, “incredibly difficult to navigate the social care system.”

Mr Steel, junior, said: “It’s simply not a joined up system and I know she was passed from pillar to post on a number of occasions.

“Since we lost her I’ve become dad’s main carer, especially since lockdown, and it has been difficult at times.”

He said only the support of the society and dementia support worker, Annie Osborne, in particular, has helped him, “through some dark days.”