As 2019 gets underway, our National Campaigns team will be working harder than ever to push forward dementia as a priority in Parliament. In the first of a two part update we round-up our campaigns work in 2018
In part two, we share our plans to make sure the voices of people with dementia are heard by decision-makers in the year ahead.
Our campaigns team
Our National Campaigns team had a busy but successful 2018, ensuring that dementia remains a political priority.
The team have been focusing on the Fix Dementia Care campaign. The campaign calls on the Government to address the issues with cost, quality and access faced by people with dementia in the care system.
How we campaigned to fix dementia care in 2018
We asked MPs to show their support
2018 began with a burst of activity from our campaigners, who asked their MPs to sign up to show their support for the Fix Dementia Care campaign.
With a Green Paper on care reform in the works, 150 MPs signed up to declare this as a key opportunity to make big decisions about how we care for older, vulnerable people.
We made lots of new Dementia Friends
We also spent the year making sure that Parliamentarians had a good understanding of what dementia is, and how it affects people. We held regular Dementia Friends sessions, with attendees including the Cabinet and Shadow Cabinet, Ministers across Government, and the Health and Social Care Select Committee.
We campaigned at Party Conferences
In September, we attended both Labour and Conservative party conferences. We ran a stand demonstrating the issues with care that people with dementia face every day.
We were accompanied by campaign volunteers Sandy, Tommy and Paul, who have each been affected by dementia. With them, we spoke to nearly 100 MPs, including the Prime Minister. We gained support for our campaign calls and made sure that they were fully understood by parliamentarians.
‘Care’ on the BBC sparked a national dementia care discussion
In December, the BBC aired the drama ‘Care’ starring Sheridan Smith and Alison Steadman. This gave us the opportunity to raise the profile of the issues at the heart of our Fix Dementia Care campaign to a wider audience.
The programme shone a light on how difficult and expensive it can be to access good care, and was viewed by thousands of people across the country.
We asked our campaigners to take action to ensure the specific needs of people with dementia are considered in the upcoming Green Paper. With the help of our campaigners, we made sure hundreds of people tweeted the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock. Thousands of supporters also emailed their local MPs.
Making an impact
All the amazing things we have achieved with our campaigners in the last year have made sure that dementia has remained a key political issue.
Next year we will need to work even harder to keep the pressure up. We are looking forward to expanding our campaigns work to look at new issues, so keep an eye out for upcoming activity and new campaigns.