Camden’s failure on dementia and misrepresentation

Thursday, 14th June 2018

• IN response to Cllr Pat Callaghan’s letter we take issue with her suggestion that we have somehow  “misrepresented” the council, (We are striving to make Camden a dementia-friendly borough, June 7).

It is a fact that one of the most important dates in the dementia calendar, Dementia Action Week, was completely ignored by the Camden magazine. It was a missed opportunity to galvanise the whole community to make Camden truly dementia-friendly.

Camden Council, however, knows all about “misrepresentation” given their behaviour during our campaign to save Camden’s only specialist dementia centre, Netherwood, last year.

The council promised a “state-of-the-art” dementia hub at Kingsgate only for us to be confronted, in so-called consultation meetings, with colour swatches for curtains and carpets.

We failed to see how these and other such cosmetic adjustments could ever constitute “state-of-the-art”. A misrepresentation? We and many others believe so.

During our campaign to try to save Netherwood, the council also consistently denied that low attendance had anything to do with a failing referral system.

We believed the system was not working and we voiced this from the off. For the best part of six months we were dismissed out of hand and told there was “no problem”.

So, imagine our surprise then when at the final meeting to confirm closure of Netherwood last summer the council had the audacity to say that they would have to look at the referral system as there was clearly a problem. Cllr Callaghan conveniently chooses to forget such misrepresentations.

We had been waiting with anticipation for a promised invitation to the private viewing of the newly reopened Kingsgate centre, only to read in Cllr Callaghan’s letter in the New Journal that the official opening event was held in May.

It makes one wonder why we were not included in the list of interested parties, considering we attended every meeting and contributed to all the discussions involved in the planning of the new centre.

Friends of Netherwood

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