Valerie secures commitment from Health Minister and Shadow Health Secretary to support John’s Campaign

On Thursday 26 February 2015 Valerie met with the Rt Hon Norman Lamb MP, Minister of State for Care and Support, and the Rt Hon Andy Burnham MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Health, with members of John’s Campaign.

Valerie said:

“When I raised John’s Campaign in an Adjournment debate I asked to meet with the Health Minister and he agreed to meet with me and members of John’s Campaign. The aim of John’s Campaign is to allow carers of people with dementia the right to accompany them in hospital, just as the parents of sick children do. These carers could feed them, keep them mobile, be their voice and memory bank, and anchor them to the world.”

“The University Hospital Bristol has taken a lead on this. Ward staff have an initial and daily conversations with the carer who is allowed to care for the patient outside of visiting hours. Imperial College have displayed posters that state that carers are welcome and can visit patients with dementia outside of visiting hours. This should be adopted across England”

“The Minister supported the aims of John’s Campaign and said he would write to all the trusts as a follow up to his letter in 2013 calling for hospital trusts to be dementia-friendly. The Minister was keen to urge all hospitals to allow carers to be with a patient with dementia.”

“The Rt Hon Andy Burnham MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Health, also agreed he would implement the aims of John’s Campaign as an added right to a commitment to carers’ rights. The right for a carer to stay with a patient with dementia would be included as an indicative right.”

“I am very pleased that John’s Campaign was given these commitments from the Minister and the Shadow Secretary of State for Health. To get cross-party support on this issue is an achievement and I hope to see hospitals across the country allowing carers to stay with and support patients with dementia.”

Articles about the Campaign:

My father entered hospital articulate and able. He came out a broken man. By Nicci Gerrard, The Observer, Sunday 30 November 2014:

Dementia: how our campaign for patient dignity in hospitals took off. By Nicci Gerrard, The Observer, Sunday 25 January 2015:

A voice for Britain’s dementia sufferers: how our campaign has built awareness. By Yvonne Roberts, The Observer, Sunday 15 February 2015:

Valerie Vaz MP’s Early Day Motion 586: John’s Campaign and the Right to Stay with Dementia Patients in Hospital: