MHP Health Mandate called in to help dementia campaign

Business and community leaders are to be brought together for an ambitious national dementia campaign that is being backed by David Cameron.

Priority: David Cameron is adding his weight to the dementia campaign
Priority: David Cameron is adding his weight to the dementia campaign

MHP Health Mandate has been called in by the Alzheimer’s Society for its dementia communities programme, which is supported by the Department of Health.

Cameron has called tackling the disease a ‘personal priority’.

The Alzheimer’s Society’s head of external affairs, Andrew Chidgey, said creating ‘dementia-friendly communities’ entailed making basic services more accessible for Alzheimer’s sufferers so they can ‘get to a bank, go the shops, catch the bus, all things we take for granted’.

Chidgey said: ‘It is only in the past five years we have started to see a big change in the public and media interest in dementia. We’ve now got to the stage where the Prime Minister is saying it’s a personal challenge for him.’

MHP Health Mandate has been charged with rallying stakeholders from industry, academia and the public sector for a series of high-level seminars during the summer.

Mike Birtwistle, the agency’s MD, said the focus of the discussions would be on hearing about issues faced by sufferers as well as making a business case to industry.

The agency will then draw up a series of recommendations for the Alzheimer’s Society, which is pushing for major improvements in care and research by 2015.

The programme includes engagement of dementia sufferers and their carers online.

Among the businesses to have pledged their support are Saga, Aviva, Lloydspharmacy, E:On and Waitrose.

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