Campaigning MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth, Debbie Abrahams, has been elected as vice chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Dementia at their Annual General meeting in Westminster this week.
Debbie, who is the only MP to become a Dementia Friends Champion and has made creating a dementia-friendly Oldham one of her top 10 priorities, said: “Despite the progress made on highlighting the subject of dementia over the last five years we cannot risk going into the next parliament without any roadmap for dementia beyond 2015.
“It is absolutely vital that the next Government, whatever its colour, continues this focus on dementia.
“It’s important that our ongoing all-party meetings enable the Group to build on the work undertaken so far and make sure dementia is considered ahead of the general election.
“In the run up to the election we’ll discuss proposals on dementia from each of the three main political parties and question each of the party’s Health spokespeople.
“The APPG will aim to provide a space for the dementia community to come together and hear from key players in dementia care and research in the UK. We can do this by meeting, and taking evidence from, expert speakers such as researchers, people with dementia and their carers and Dementia Friendly Communities.
“The Group’s 2014 report has already scrutinised the National Dementia Strategy for England (NDSE) and has called for the government to publish a new one. Our campaigning work should help to elicit a formal response from the government to the Group’s report.
“I talk to the other members of the APPG with great pride about the progress made across our borough to create a dementia-friendly Oldham as a result of the hard work of the Council and the NHS Clinical Commissioning Group working together as the Oldham Dementia Partnership and then joining forces with the local Dementia Action Alliance run by the Alzheimer’s Society.
“On top of that we now have the boost of the Oldham Chronicle’s campaign to sign up 500 Dementia friends by Christmas which is brilliant. I would encourage anyone who can to take action now and support the campaign by getting in touch with Sue Neilson and Julie Eastham on 0161 622 6637 or go to www.dementiafriends.org.uk.”