On February 6, the NDAA held its Annual Conference at the Royal College of Nursing, sponsored by Housing 21. The theme of the day was ‘The benefits and impact of co-production alongside people with lived experience of dementia’.
The day was attended by over 95 delegates, speakers and sponsors. Like previous years, the day was chaired by a national member (who also sits on our Steering Group) – Rachel Thompson, a carer (from tide) – Lynn Gamble and someone living with Dementia – George Rook, which set the tone for the co-production theme.
The day started with a warm welcome from Dawne Garrett, who is Professional Lead for Older People and Dementia Care at the Royal College of Nursing. She was followed by NDAA Steering group members Jeremy Hughes and Keith Oliver who talked about the achievements of the NDAA in the past year as well as giving an update on the Challenge on Dementia.
The first session of the day was the guidance launch, looking at the Dementia Statements from a legal perspective. This panel session was chaired by Toby Williamson and included Nigel Hullah, who is living with dementia, Janis Cottee, who is a carer, Sarah Butchard, a clinical psychologist and Catherine Diamond, a solicitor. All the panel members helped develop this guidance looking at the legal underpinnings of the Dementia Statements and discussed why a rights-based approach is important to empowering those affected by dementia.
The next and equally riveting session was looking at dementia in under-represented groups, in particular, a focus on BAME communities. This panel session was chaired by Mike Clarke who is the Equality, Diversion and Inclusion Manager for Alzheimer’s Society. We heard from David Truswell, a leading voice on dementia in BAME communities, Ronald Amaze who is living with dementia and Charles Marshall who runs a programme of dementia research, including the role played by ethnicity and socioeconomic deprivation in determining risk of dementia. They discussed the key issues and challenges faced by people living with dementia and carers from BAME communities and the latest research findings in this area.
Next up was a session looking at strengthening the involvement of people affected by dementia in your work. We heard from Rachael Litherland, Tommy Dunne and Paul Hitchmough from Dementia Enquirers/DEEP, George Rook and Cheryl Elliott from Dementia Voice and Ruth Turner and Micheal McLaughlin from tide who spoke about their experiences when it comes to co-production and key strategies for change. Our delegates were also asked to reflect how they involve people affected by dementia in their organisations and how to improve their processes and tweet their pledge.
The final session of the day explored what research looks like when co-production works well. We heard from Linda Clare and Rachael Litherland on the IDEAL project and Jane Wilcock, Claire Bamford and Cuthbert Regan on the PriDem Project. They spoke about how they co-produced the study and the impact on those involved.
Lastly, the NDAA Annual Report 2019/20 was also launched on this day, with it being made available online at nationaldementiaaction.org.uk
Thank you to all those who attended our Annual Conference and made this day wonderful. To see more about the day visit #NDAAConference on twitter.