To the Fighter Jets – A Call to Action!

Carers high res day 2 022If I’m honest when I think of a Call to Action, I think of the scene in Independence Day (1996) where the President of the USA is getting everyone geared up to fight back against the alien invasion. Before you get chance to say it – yes I am a nerd.

But now, calls to action are everywhere, I see them everywhere – and now I’m involved in one!

Carers Trust has been part of the Dementia Action Alliance (DAA) for a few years now. Last year, carers and carers’ organisations involved raised the need for the DAA to act more actively on behalf of carers of people with dementia.

The carers noted that The Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia did not include enough clear actions to improve the lives of carers as well as those with dementia.

A working group was established to develop a plan and the basis of The Carers’ Call to Action.

The Carers’ Call to Action (CC2A) identifies a Shared Vision for carers for people with dementia. This is:

  • have recognition of the unique experience of caring for someone with dementia
  • are recognised as essential partners in care – valuing their knowledge and the support they provide to enable the person with dementia to live well
  • have access to expertise in dementia care for personalised information, advice, support and co-ordination of care for the person with dementia
  • have assessments and support to identify the on-going and changing needs to maintain their own health and well-being
  • have confidence that they are able to access good quality care, support and respite services that are flexible, culturally appropriate, timely and provided by skilled staff for both the carer and the person for whom they care

The CC2A is focusing specifically on the newly established Health and Wellbeing Boards, asking them two take a two phased approach.

March 2014

By March 2014 CC2A will engage with all Health and Wellbeing Boards, Clinical Commissioning Groups and Local Government in England to make a commitment to our shared vision. We will provide support, resources, examples of good practice and solutions.

March 2015

By March 2015 two thirds of Health and Wellbeing Boards, Clinical Commissioning Groups and Local Government in England will recognise the importance of support for carers of people with dementia. Local areas will be awarded star ratings by the CC2A based on demonstrating measurable actions in line with the five aims of OUR SHARED VISION.

So now for action! Remember the President of the United States rousing the pilots to fight the aliens – well we’re at that scene.

Carers – can write to their local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Health & Wellbeing Board and local authority asking them to sign up to the CC2A – which can be downloaded here.

Carers’ organisations can do exactly the same as individual carers as well as get involved with their local Dementia Action Alliance which are growing at an exceptional rate around the country.

It’s time for action. Carers Trust recent research “A Road Less Rocky” showed that carers of people come into contact with a whole range of professionals and experience multiple crisis points whilst caring yet are still not being supported or given the information they need. This is a chance to try and address this.

So raise your voices people – and to the fighter jets!


December 10, 2013 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. All good.

    But dementia is a degenerative neurological condition which society has to recognise as such and stump up for. With nearly 1m with dementia of one sort or another, most people will be affected directly or indirectly.

    I think society as a whole should carry the financial burden of these ill people. I don’t think they should have to sell their houses to pay for a medical condition. Politicians for decades have decided this is a good place – nicely shades of gray to fudge – to reduce taxes and provide less. So they are not really the people to be listened to.

    Comment by adferoafferro | December 10, 2013 | Reply

    • Max Pemberton [Dementia Sufferers must have specialist care:Tel 2 Dec 2013] points out something which is very important: Diagnosis is a job for doctors not social workers.

      Fleshing this out, docs should be monitoring dementia in such a way that there is a detailed understanding of when a dementia suffer in a care home is not receiving the care she needs. So there will have to be more resources for them to do this.

      The problem of care vs. nursing care crops up all the time because more funding is available if a dementia sufferer is classified as needing nursing care. Mostly the system decides that they need only residential care. Local GPs and community nurses play a role (e.g. when a person is sick in another way and needs treatment) but this is mostly on an ad hoc, call-out basis. There is no constant regular checking of how dementia suffers are getting on and if their needs are being fully met.

      Since dementia is a neurological illness (with a variety of causes), and is complex in it’s symptoms and development, the way dementia sufferers are cared for in their own homes, or in care homes, should be the responsibility of their doctors. They should be the one’s to decide what the illness has done to a person and how they can or can’t cope, and what needs to be done to make their life as tolerable as possible.

      Visit a care home with a dementia unit, and you do not get the impression that the care workers are trained well in how to deal with the sufferers. The little details that must be seen to be done to ensure those with dementia are not under constant anxiety (or fear in many cased), are simply not recognised as important or ignored.

      The system that now operates with poorly paid, untrained or poorly trained care-workers working for private care homes, and a toothless CQC (talk now of greater powers…) militates against proper care. The CQC relies to a great extent for it’s operating costs on fees to care homes, and hospitals. If they close them all down, they’re chopped liver too.

      We are talking about hundred and hundreds of thousands of dementia suffers, not just a couple of thousand. That is the great problem. It would cost billions more than it already does to care for them properly according to ethical standards anyone can recognise. But society as a whole must chose. It can’t be left as it is.

      There is plenty of education about dementia now. What is lacking is wider political debate. This is amazing since so many people are affected by dementia. Every sufferer has relatives who have to cope with one of the most difficult and heart-rending medical conditions.

      I suspect – who can’t be cynical? – the soothing sounds bites of the Prime Minister and others like Norman Lamb using phrases like, it’s a disgrace. Money where you mouths are. Tells us how many more billions of tax payers money you propose to pump into dementia care. The rest is hot air.

      Comment by adferoafferro | December 10, 2013 | Reply

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