Improving dementia care and awareness

The Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board covers all of North Wales and is open to comments and suggestions from people living with dementia, their carers and family members regarding ongoing improvements to the services offered.

The Patient and Carer Experience Team collect the views of service users so that they can really understand what matters especially when people are at their most vulnerable. With your permission, they then share feedback with staff.

Contact the Patient and Carer Experience Team by:

You can find out about one family’s story here:

Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board: improving dementia awareness and care (external website).

John’s Campaign

Dr John Gerrard was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in his mid-seventies. At the beginning of February 2014, aged 86, he went into hospital and he was there for five weeks. John went into hospital strong, mobile, smiling, able to tell stories about his past, to work in his garden and help with things round the house. He was able to feed himself, to go the lavatory, to keep clean, to have a good kind of daily life. He came out skeletal, incontinent, immobile, incoherent. He required 24-hour care and barely knew those around him. He wore incontinence pads, could not stand up or walk, could not lift a mug to his mouth nor put words into a sentence.

His family feel certain that if he had not lain for five weeks without people he knew to tend and comfort him, he would not have descended into such a state of incapacity. The individual nurses and doctors were kind, conscientious, respectful, but they couldn’t sit and talk to him, read to him, make sure he ate, keep him attached to the world.

John Gerrard died in November 2014. But there are hundreds of thousands of patients with dementia who will have the same frightening and confusing experience unless a change is made. There are hundreds of thousands of families who will be prevented from supporting their loved one in their time of need. Yet it is those same families and carers who will be struggling with the post-hospital problems of rehabilitation. You can get in touch with John’s Campaign via their Facebook page (external website) or other contact details on the John's Campaign website (external website).

As a result of this campaign hospitals should now allow families / friends / carers to assist their loved ones with activities, even at assisted mealtimes if the patient has a diagnosis of dementia - unless the risks of this outweigh the benefits as, sadly, has often been the case due to Covid restrictions.