“John’s Campaign is named after Dr John Gerrard, who died in November 2014 after a catastrophic stay in hospital.
Shocked at how much damage disconnection can wreak on people with dementia, his daughter Nicci Gerrard and her friend Julia Jones co-founded the campaign with a single, simple principle: We should not enforce disconnection between carers and those who need care. When someone with dementia is hospitalized, the medical staff should do all within their power to make access easy for family carers and utilise their expert knowledge and their love. The principles of John’s Campaign are applicable everywhere when a person with dementia cannot live in their own home. Whether someone with dementia is living in a mental health unit, a nursing home, a rehabilitation unit, supported housing or a care home, their families must be welcome to support them as often as they are able. Families are more than “visitors” to a person with dementia; they are an integral part of that persons life and identity and often their last, best means of connection with the world.
In the two or so years since it was founded, overwhelming support has been shown from across the UK. Nearly 400 wards, hospitals and other institutions have pledged their support. Nearly 58 MPs from across political parties signed an Early Day Motion tabled by Valerie Vaz MP in December 2014. In January 2015, the then PM David Cameron voiced support on the Andrew Marr show. A year later, NHS England officially endorsed the campaign, including it in their 2016/17 Commissioning for Quality and Innovation (CQUIN) payment framework.” — John’s Campaign Website.
Today the campaign continues to grow, with care homes such as Apple House now pledging their support via a family friendly ethos that underpins each home, and with recognition that connecting with families benefits not only those with dementia.
Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive for Care England, says, “There is really good evidence that people who maintain their relationships have much greater well-being, and better quality-of-life. It is for these reasons that John’s Campaign, is fighting to ensure that there are no restrictions on when people can engage with their loved ones.”
The Division of Clinical Psychology states, “Carer involvement and support is essential to providing best care, for example, by obtaining a person’s life history.”
With support from The Guardian newspaper and The Observer newspaper too, awareness of the vital connection between those receiving care and their families and friends can only increase further.
Here’s our certificate:
Read our blog post about being ‘family friendly, HERE