John’s Campaign is named after Dr John Gerrard, who died in November 2014 after a catastrophic stay in hospital.Â Shocked at how much damage disconnection can wreak on people with dementia, his daughter Nicci Gerrard and her friend Julia Jones co-founded the campaign with a single, simple principle: We should not enforce disconnection between carers and those who need care.
When someone with dementia is hospitalized, the medical staff should do all within their power to make access easy for family carers and utilise their expert knowledge and their love. The principles of John’s Campaign are applicable everywhere when a person with dementia cannot live in their own home. Whether someone with dementia is living in a mental health unit, a nursing home, a rehabilitation unit, supported housing or a care home, their families must be welcome to support them as often as they are able. Families are more than “visitors” to a person with dementia; they are an integral part of that persons life and identity and often their last, best means of connection with the world.
More recently, AgeUK have been taking an increasingly active role in the campaign’s promotion and implementation. They have produced an implementation guide and chair an advisory group of interested charities. For more information (email addresses and who to talk to), see our contact page.
Another organization that has had great influence on the campaign and its success is the Alzheimer’s Society. We were particularly inspired to take action by statistics in their 2009 report Counting the Cost: caring for people with dementia on hospital wards:
Over a quarter of hospital beds in the UK are currently occupied by people with dementia
The average stay of a person with dementia is three weeks but it can be much longer if rehabilitation is a problem or there is no where suitable to go
One third of people with dementia who go into hospital for an unrelated condition NEVER return to their own homes
47% of people with dementia who go into hospital are physically less well when they leave than when they went in
54% of people with dementia who go into hospital are mentally less well when they leave than when they went in
Kings College Hospital have signed up as members of John’s Campaign and are advertising across their wards. They have created a new carers passport card to help identify carers and allow them access to extended visiting hours and support.
Nearest tube: Elephant & Castle underground station (Northern and Bakerloo lines).
Nearest Railway Station: Elephant & Castle
Buses from Elephant and Castle: ask bus driver for Burgess Park. Bus numbers: 12, 171, 148, 176, 68, 484, 42, 40, 45