The Prime Minister David Cameron spoke at a dementia conference in his constituency Witney (West Oxfordshire) on Friday 30th November. The ‘Living Well with Dementia’ event took place at Witney Lakes Resort and was organised by the West Oxfordshire District Council & West Oxfordshire Locality Group.

The conference was opened by Mr and Mrs Plastow, a couple who have been living with dementia since Mr Plastow was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s 6 years ago. Mr Cameron then talked about the ‘Dementia Challenge’ he launched in March 2012. He evoked the three champion groups that have been set up to focus on the main areas for action: driving improvements in health and care, creating dementia friendly communities and improving dementia research. This sets out renewed ambition to build on progress made through the National Dementia Strategy, so that people with dementia, their carers and families get the services and support they need.

Oxford Health NHS FT were one of many organisations represented on the day. Kathryn Serati-Shirazi, memory clinic nurse in the Trust’s North Oxfordshire Older Adult services team, talked about the memory clinic service offered in Witney. Dr Jenny McCleery (Consultant Old Age Psychiatrist in the North Oxon locality and Dementia Research Director for Thames Valley DeNDRoN) talked about wider aspects of the local secondary care service and research. Olivier Bazin (Data and Communications Manager for Thames Valley DeNDRoN) held an information stand about the Trust’s dementia research support team, the Dementias and Neurodegenerative Diseases Research Network (DeNDRoN).

The conference organisation team are currently applying to become a local West Oxfordshire Dementia Action Alliance. This forum will aim to ensure that the PM’s Dementia Challenge is met at a local level in West Oxfordshire.

From left to right: Olivier Bazin (Oxford Health NHS FT & Thames Valley DeNDRoN), Jenny McCleery (Oxford Health NHS FT & Thames Valley DeNDRoN), David Cameron