We call upon HM Government and the NHS to provide facilities to enable carers to stay with people with Alzheimer's disease and dementia that have been admitted into hospital.
A stay in hospital shouldn't be catastrophic for people with dementia and their families, but we know it often sadly is. More than 90% of carers report that their loved one with dementia found the hospital environment confusing and frightening. At the Annual Meeting in June 2016, WI members were clear that action must be taken to improve patients' care in hospital and to support their families.
Our Carers Welcome campaign calls on all acute and mental health hospitals to take steps to allow families greater access to their loved one while they are on the ward. Whether that's by extending visiting hours or allowing them to stay overnight, the aim is the same: carer's welcome.
This campaign is not about compelling carers to stay in hospital- we recognise that carers need and deserve respite. It is about ensuring the rights and freedoms of carers and safeguarding the dignity of those with dementia.
As part of the campaign, the NFWI has published a new report into the state of dementia care in hospitals and support for family carers. Click here to download the full report.
How you can get involved
We are now calling on members to take action that will help improve the quality of dementia care and support for carers in their local hospitals.
Ask your MP to take up the issue of carer access to hospital wards with your local acute hospital provider in England. In Wales, ask your AM to raise the problem with your Local Health Board. In light of our finding that only 3% of carers of people with dementia are offered a carer's passport, the NFWI is calling on trusts and health boards to act. Support our call for the introduction of a carer passport scheme across every hospital by sharing the findings of our research with your MP or AM and letting them know how people in your area have been affected. If you wish to write to your MP or AM, please note that a template letter is available below if you would like to use it. Alternatively, you could attend a ‘surgery’ or arrange a time to discuss the issue in person by contacting your local constituency office.
To find out who your MP is and how to contact them, visit: www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/mps/
For details of your AM, visit: www.senedd.assembly.wales/mgFindMember.aspx
Don’t forget to let us know if you receive a response!
- Raise awareness of the rights of family carers in a hospital setting. Help make sure that carers of people with dementia in your WI, federation and local community know what they are entitled to in a hospital setting. Why not share an information leaflet developed by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and National Federation of Women’s Institutes about the rights of family carers? The leaflet is available to download below. Alternatively, contact the Public Affairs Department at firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 7371 9300 (ext 238) if you would like some sent to you.
Download a template letter to write to your MP or AM here:
Download the information leaflet for family carers here.
Contact the NFWI
- Phone: 020 7371 9300
- Open hours: 9am–5pm Mon–Fri
- Address: 104 New Kings Road, London SW6 4LY
Or fill in the contact form... to email a specific department