Dame Barbara Windsor has issued a plea to Boris Johnson as she prepares to deliver an open letter that sets out the poor state of dementia care in the UK and calls for instant action.
The former Carry On and EastEnders star, who has Alzheimer’s disease, will deliver the Alzheimer’s Society’s letter to Downing Street today.
In a thank you video, Windsor said: ““Thank you all so much for showing your support in signing the letter to our new Prime Minister. It means so much. Let’s make this happen, and fix dementia care.”
The letter has attracted over 100,000 signatures and calls for an immediate investment in the NHS dementia fund as well as a demand for the prioritisation of long term social care system reform.
It says: “We are writing to you as people affected by dementia, their families, friends and supporters. Together with Alzheimer’s Society, we are calling on you to address the devastating state of dementia care through the Spending Review this autumn.
“Our experience is of a care system that too often doesn’t care – one that is completely inadequate, unfair, unsustainable and in dire need of more money. Across the country dementia care is difficult, an in some places even impossible, to access.
“Where support is available, it is of hugely variable quality and unaffordable for far too many. Too often, people with dementia end up hospitalised through lack of care, leading to enormous cost for the NHS and great personal cost to themselves.
“The collective political failure to agree to deliver care reform over decades has left us with a system in crisis. It is families that pick up the strain. Daughters, sons, partners and friends are stepping in and spending 1.3 billion hours a year providing care – many are at breaking point.
“Immediate investment in dementia care, through a Dementia Fund proposed by Alzheimer’s Society, while a long-term funding solution is sought. Decisive action to fix dementia care funding, without delay, must be an immediate priority for your Government.
“We stand with people affected by dementia in urging you to Fix Dementia Care.”
Windsor’s husband Scott will appear alongside his wife, and said: “My wife Barbara and I are so proud to be delivering this letter today from the Alzheimer’s Society and all the tens of thousands of people who have signed it.
“This overwhelming response from the people across the country really shows the public outrage at the distress caused by our broken social care system.”