Dementia and Politics

Throughout 2015 and 2016 the Dementia Festival of Ideas funded by the Trust brought together leading politicians, clinicians, academics, policy specialists and communicators to reflect on the current state and future prospects of dementia and politics.  The wide-ranging discussion threw up some interesting and challenging differences in thinking.   A long extract from this discussion is available in audio here

The Masterclass showed the range of ways dementia and politics interconnect. It is tempting to reduce politics to a set of issues for the state and government to wrestle with on our behalf, separated from local politics or domestic dynamics. This reflects a traditional division in the print media between national news, local news stories and features. These divisions are getting in the way of a political engagement with dementia that will genuinely face up to the importance of dementia now and in the future, which cuts across such neat boundaries. Politics generally is about what all of us do and how we act. In relation to dementia particularly it is clearly no longer about what the state will do.

  • Those taking part included:
  • Luciana Berger MP – Shadow Minister for Public Health
  • Harry Cayton – Chief Executive, Professional Standards Authority
  • Jane Salvage – Independent Health Consultant
  • Dr Claire Nichol – Consultant Geriatrician, Addenbrookes Hospital Cambridge
  • Professor Allan House – Professor of Liaison Psychiatry, Leeds Institute of Health Sciences
  • Johan Vos – Deputy Chief Executive, Alzheimer’s Disease International