Dame Barbara Windsor is supporting Alzheimer’s Society in its fight for long-term government funding to fix the dementia care crisis.
The Eastenders actress and her husband, Scott Mitchell, have launched an open letter from the charity to the Prime Minister, calling on him to “sort out dementia care once and for all”.
The couple, who have been announced as charity ambassadors to coincide with Dame Barbara’s 82nd birthday, are asking the public to join them in signing the letter before its delivery to 10 Downing Street next month.
Alzheimer’s Society’s Fix Dementia Care campaign has been calling on the government to provide a long-term funding solution to end the social care crisis since 2016.
The charity said government plans have been delayed and there is now an immediate need for a £2.4 billion dementia fund.
Dame Barbara, who was diagnosed with dementia in 2014, said: ‘I am absolutely delighted to become an Ambassador for this wonderful charity, who are helping so many people living with dementia… like me.’
“We’re lucky to have amazing support but my heart goes out to the many, many people who are really struggling to get the care they so desperately need. Please join us – let’s do everything we can to sort this out.”
Speaking about their experience, Scott Mitchell said: “The last few years have been really hard for both Barbara and I as we’ve had to get used to dementia being in our lives.
“The Society’s open letter to our new Prime Minister Boris Johnson to tackle the social care crisis is strongly supported by Barbara and me. We encourage the fantastic UK public to give their support by signing this letter. It’s time to end the battle people with dementia and their families are facing across the country.”
Alzheimer’s Society previously announced that people living with dementia have spent almost £15bn of their own money on social care since the government promised to publish its Social Care Green Paper two years ago.
The charity warned that the social care system “is in disarray, completely unprepared to support the growing numbers of people receiving a dementia diagnosis”.
Jeremy Hughes, chief executive at Alzheimer’s Society, said: “Barbara and Scott are now lending their voice to the hundreds of thousands of people affected by dementia, struggling to access vital care or facing unfair costs – just because they happened to develop dementia and not some other disease.’
“That’s why we’re urging Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his government to invest in an NHS Dementia Fund, and to sort out long term social care reform. It’s time to end the dementia tax that‘s preventing people from getting the care they need and deserve.”