John’s Campaign: the right for families and carers to stay with people with dementia in hospital

A recent article in the Observer late last year was written by the novelist Nicci Gerrard about her father who had recently died and his stay in hospital earlier in the year. Nicci described how her father, a doctor, who suffered from dementia, had entered hospital in February as “strong, mobile, healthy, continent, reasonably articulate, cheerful and able to lead a fulfilled daily life with my mother”; he left 5 weeks later “skeletal, incontinent, immobile, incoherent, bewildered, quite lost” and in need of 24-hour care.

She does not blame the hospital staff who were respectful and kind and completed their task of healing the infection. The issue she raises is that he was left to himself with no-one to ensure he ate and drank the food and water left for him or who could spend time communicating with him to “keep him anchored to the world he loved”.

You can read her story here:

Nicci appeared on the Andrew Marr Show at the weekend to publicise the campaign she has started in memory of her father, John. 

The goal of John’s Campaign is to achieve the right for families and carers to stay with people with dementia in hospital, 24/7 if necessary.

The campaign argues that the NHS advises that parents stay with their child as much as possible during their stay in hospital and that people with dementia have similar needs even as adults. John’s Campaign, therefore, wants the same right for families and carers of people with dementia.

The campaign is asking for carers who have had similar experiences to Nicci and her family to share their stories to support the campaign. Find out more about the campaign and the various ways you can help here:

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