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Civil Service Awards 2015 Nominees: Dementia Policy Team

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I’m Lorraine Jackson for the Department for Health Dementia Policy Team. We’re absolutely delighted and thrilled to be shortlisted for the Civil Service Award for our policy work on the Prime Minister’s Dementia Challenge.

Through that challenge we’ve transformed the way that the country thinks about and talks Dementia, and our attitudes towards it.

We’re determined to tackle this disease. We’ve created over 1 million Dementia Friends, we’re diagnosing more people than ever before and we’re pushing forward to make sure the research we do takes us closer towards a therapy or a cure.

The Policy Award

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Recognising a domestic or international policy initiative that has brought together different strands of successful policy-making, made a real and significant difference in terms of practical delivery, user experience, or cost effectiveness through:

  • developing or utilising  a sound evidence base, capturing knowledge from a variety of disciplines and sources, and using robust analysis to understand the data and to inform decision-making
  • incorporating a diverse range of input, showcasing open policy-making, engaging effectively with stakeholders, while  managing the wider political context
  • developing and designing with implementation, delivery and users in mind and employing new and innovative tools as appropriate

Why were the Dementia Policy nominated?

In March 2012 the Prime Minister launched his challenge on Dementia aimed at delivering major improvements in dementia care and research by 2015.

To improve outcomes for people affected by dementia across a wide range of issues, the team showcased open policy-making by engaging with a range of key stakeholders, including people with dementia, their carers and advocates.

The team used a variety of innovative tools and levers, for example establishing  the social movement ‘Dementia Friends’ to raise awareness. As a result diagnosis rates improved from 42% to 61.6% by March 2015. Efforts on research have also been world-leading, with the establishment of the ground-breaking £50m industry/academia collaboration: Dementias Platform UK and Joint Dementia Research, which is now enabling more people to participate in research studies.

As well as the success during these 3 years, the intelligence amassed from stakeholders informed the definitive assessment of the steps needed to transform the lives of people with dementia over the next five years - the PM's Challenge on Dementia 2020, a key manifesto commitment.

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