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Dementia Awareness Alliance (DAA) Event 2016
“We have a lot of work still to do to demystify dementia. Raising awareness takes away fear and worry.” – Baroness Jolly, Political panel
Yesterday, Ed Watkinson (Director of Care Quality) and Philippa Shirtcliffe (Clinical Policy Lead) attended the annual Dementia Action Alliance (DAA) conference at Whitehall Place, London. QCS was very proud to be the sponsor for the conference and to be able to contribute in some small way to the great work that the DAA do.. It was an interesting day full of speeches, debates and discussions in relation to the topic of dementia. The DAA members also addressed the issues they have explored throughout the past year, and the actions they have taken as an Alliance, as well as the issues they plan to address in 2017.
There were a wide range of attendees at the conference ranging from people living with dementia, carers, representatives from support groups, professionals and academics. Very rarely is there such a diverse group under one roof and it was fascinating and enlightening to hear such a range of experiences and commentaries regarding dementia, and we all learnt something new from each other’s experience and understanding.
It was so refreshing to hear the passion, and it must be said anger and frustration from some of the attendees living with dementia – with calls for ‘less talking and more action’ and for the full respect of the ‘human rights’ which the whole room agreed with.
Another highlight was the inspiring speech given by Andrea Sutcliffe, Chief Inspector of Social Care at CQC. Sutcliffe spoke up about the quality of services available in adult social care – stating that “We need to talk about services and quality’ and that ‘We need to listen to people living with dementia and carers.” It was refreshing to hear the regulator focusing on listening to the person receiving services at the centre of their process, and reflecting their views in the judgements made.
The panel discussions, were also fascinating and eye-opening moments that the QCS team experienced on the day. The Political panel tackled issues such as Brexit’s impact on dementia research and featured expert insights from the likes of Baroness Jolly, Liberal Democrat Peer, and Jeremy Hughes CBE, CEO of the Alzheimer’s Society. Hughes himself confirmed the relevant news that PM Theresa May will “drive forward the dementia agenda”.The DAA conference was attended by over 170 people and was a great success and a powerful reflection of the year’s events. We look forward to what 2017 has in store for us and all of those working together to raise dementia awareness.
Philippa had this to say about the event….
Attending the Dementia Action Alliance conference was both thought provoking and enlightening. What I took away from today is that in order to promote outstanding practice there has to be a recognition that Dementia is a Human Rights issue. Outstanding practice is driven by seeing the person living with dementia as an individual with a life, a story, friends and family, who has a right to be listened to and supported fully, not just medically. This includes the right to dignity and respect. Policies and procedures play an important part of shaping a quality framework, driving culture change and ensuring practice, behaviour and language is accurate, balanced and respectful. QCS were proud to sponsor today's event and will continue to deliver on our DAA pledge.
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