On 28th May 2014, the Camden Cameos got together to discuss NHS London plans for a recognition scheme.
The idea of a recognition scheme is that staff in NHS, health and social care organisations know if someone they are caring for has dementia. For example in a hospital ward people with dementia might be asked to wear a different coloured wristband. In other organisations information about dementia or memory problems might be entered on someone’s notes.
NHS London were keen to know what people with dementia thought about such schemes.
All members of the group thought having a recognition scheme was a good idea:
- ‘People should know’
- ‘They might need to know about what medication I’m on’
- ‘They would need to treat people sensitively’
- ‘There could be situations where people don’t understand’
People didn’t mind the idea of being ‘labelled’ in some way:
- ‘I always say – I’m sorry I have memory problems’
- ‘I’ve got no problem with people knowing I have dementia’
But people wanted to be sure that any scheme would be of practical benefit:
- ‘It could be important in A&E’
- ‘People need to be patient’
- ‘Let’s hope people are treated better’
- ‘Additional information could be provided’.
Finally, the group pointed out that they are a limited sample of people with dementia and they are all very happy to talk about dementia, whereas they know that many people are not.