Dame Barbara Windsor to deliver letter to PM demanding better dementia support

Dame Barbara Windsor will deliver a letter to the Prime Minister calling on him to address the "devastating state" of dementia care.

The Carry On and EastEnders actress, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2014, will be joined by her husband Scott Mitchell at 10 Downing Street on Monday.

The open letter from the Alzheimer's Society to Boris Johnson has been signed by more than 100,000 people and calls on the Prime Minister to improve dementia care through immediate investment in an NHS Dementia Fund, while addressing long-term reform for the social care system as a priority.

Dame Barbara, best known as pub landlady Peggy Mitchell in EastEnders, recorded a thank you video to everyone who has supported the campaign and signed the letter.

"Thank you all so much for showing your support in signing the letter to our new Prime Minister. It means so much. Let's make this happen, and fix dementia care," she said.

The letter to Mr Johnson says: "We are writing to you as people affected by dementia, their families, friends and supporters. Together with Alzheimer's Society, we are calling on you to address the devastating state of dementia care through the Spending Review this autumn.

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Britain's Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall (R) is watched by actress Barbara Windsor (L) as she speaks on the telephone at the annual ICAP charity day in the City of London December 3, 2013. REUTERS/Paul Grover/Pool (BRITAIN - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT BUSINESS SOCIETY ROYALS)
British actor Bernard Bresslaw, dressed as Father Bernard is shown with actress Barbara Windsor around May 21, 1972. They are both appearing in the British comedy film series "Carry on Abroad" now in production at Pinewood Studios, England. (AP Photo/Bob Dear)
British comedy actor Sid James gets a friendly farewell cuddle from his British co-star Barbara Windsor as they complete the last day of shooting of the film "Carry On Girls", at Pinewood Studios, England, May 25, 1973. (AP Photo/Robert Dear)
Britain's Prince Charles shares a joke with actress Barbara Windsor, right, and Kelly Osbourne, center, as Kelly's mother Sharon Osbourne looks on, backstage during filming of the Royal Variety Performance at the London Coliseum, in central London, Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2004. (AP Photo/Chris Young/Pool)
British actress Barbara Windsor arrives for the Royal World Premiere of the movie Alice in Wonderland in Leicester Square, London, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2010. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
Barbara Windsor is seen posing with Pudsey the Bear on arriving for the 'BBC Children in Need' gala performance of 'Mamma Mia' on Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012 in London, UK. (Photo by Jon Furniss/Invision/AP)
Barbara Windsor and Scott Mitchell attend the after party following the 'BBC Children in Need' gala performance of 'Mamma Mia' on Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012 in London, UK. (Photo by Jon Furniss/Invision/AP)
Barbara Windsor, left and Anneka Rice attend the after party following the 'BBC Children in Need' gala performance of 'Mamma Mia' on Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012 in London, UK. (Photo by Jon Furniss/Invision/AP)
Barbara Windsor and Scott Mitchel arrive for the opening night of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, a new stage musical based on Roald Dahl's popular story about Willy Wonka and his amazing Chocolate Factory, at the Drury Lane Theatre in central London, Tuesday, June 25, 2013. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)
Britain's Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, centre, rides with television personalities Barbara Windsor , second right and journalist Alastair Stewart, right, on a 1960's Routemaster bus, on route to meeting London Poppy Day staff and volunteers in London Thursday Nov. 7, 2013. Accompanied by Prince William, the couple surprised hundreds of commuters, as they joined poppy sellers at a London Tube station. (AP Photo/Carl Court, Pool)
Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, left and Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge third right, ride with television personality Barbara Windsor, second right, on a 1960's Routemaster bus, on route to meeting London Poppy Day staff and volunteers in London Thursday Nov. 7, 2013. Accompanied by Prince William, the couple surprised hundreds of commuters, as they joined poppy sellers at a London Tube station. (AP Photo/Carl Court, Pool)
British Prime Minister David Cameron, talks to British actress Barbara Windsor outside 10 Downing Street during a event to mark the annual Poppy Day appeal in London, Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014. The symbolic Poppies are sold each year prior to Armistice Day, Nov 11, to raise money in aid of armed forces veterans. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
British actress Barbara Windsor poses for photographers with a map as she hands out leaflets and maps at Piccadilly Circus, to welcome visitors from around the world to London, Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2015. Barbara Windsor joined volunteers from the Team London Visitor Welcome program helping visitors to the capital this summer get the most out of their trip. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
British actress Barbara Windsor poses for photographers with her husband Scott Mitchell at Piccadilly Circus, in London, Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2015. Barbara Windsor MBE joined volunteers from theTeam London Visitor Welcome programme helping visitors to the capital this summer get the most out of their trip. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
British actress Barbara Windsor (L) and London Mayor Boris Johnson play sitting volleyball at the London 2012 Paralympic Games August 31, 2012. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett (BRITAIN - Tags: SPORT OLYMPICS VOLLEYBALL POLITICS ENTERTAINMENT TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
Britain's Prince Charles (L) speaks with actress Barbara Windsor at the Royal World Premiere of "Alice In Wonderland" in London February 25, 2010. REUTERS/Ian West/Pool (BRITAIN - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT ROYALS)
June Brown (L) and Barbara Windsor (R) arrive for the British Academy Television Awards 2009 at the Royal Festival Hall in London April 26, 2009. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor (BRITAIN ENTERTAINMENT)
British actress Barbara Windsor (R) and British comedian David Walliams arrive in costume for the reception following the civil partnership ceremony of British television and stand-up comedian Matt Lucas and his partner Kevin McGee, in central London December 17, 2006.REUTERS/Toby Melville (BRITAIN)
British actress Barbara Windsor (R) and British comedian David Walliams arrive in costume for the reception following the civil partnership ceremony of British television and stand-up comedian Matt Lucas and his partner Kevin McGee, in central London December 17, 2006.REUTERS/Toby Melville (BRITAIN)
East Enders star Barbara Windsor (L) joins comedian Ronnie Corbett in saluting the Queen from a parade float during Golden Jubilee celebrations June 4, 2002. REUTERS/Chris Helgren CLH/
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (L) walks around the set of BBC soap opera Eastenders with actress Barbara Windsor, November 28, 2001. The Queen has spent a day touring various broadcasting facilities including the set of long running sopa opera Eastenders and the news room of ITN before going on to see a rehersal of popular childrens television programme Blue Peter.
Barbara Windsor poses for photographers upon arrival at the Pride of Britain Awards 2015 in London, Monday, Sept. 28, 2015. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)
British actress Barbara Windsor gestures to the media as she poses with actress Lacey Turner, second left, and two members of the armed forces outside 10 Downing Street during a event to mark the annual Poppy Day in London, Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014. Poppies are sold each year prior to Armistice Day, Nov 11, in aid of armed forces veterans. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
British actress Barbara Windsor arrives for the Royal World Premiere of the movie Alice in Wonderland in Leicester Square, London, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2010. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
British comedy actor Bernard Bresslaw, dressed in a cassock for the film Carry On Abroad, being filmed at Pinewood Studios, Iver, May 21, 1972, smiles at British comedy actress Barbara Windsor as she pops out of his attire. (AP Photo/Staff/Bob Dear)
Barbara Windsor is seen posing with Pudsey the Bear on arriving for the 'BBC Children in Need' gala performance of 'Mamma Mia' on Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012 in London, UK. (Photo by Jon Furniss/Invision/AP)
Britain's Catherine (L), Duchess of Cambridge, rides with television personalities Barbara Windsor (R) and Alastair Stewart on a 1960’s Routemaster bus during a Royal British Legion Poppy Day event in London November 7, 2013. REUTERS/Carl Court/Pool (BRITAIN - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT ROYALS SOCIETY)
Britain's Prince Charles (L) speaks with actress Barbara Windsor at the Royal World Premiere of "Alice In Wonderland" in London February 25, 2010. REUTERS/Ian West/Pool (BRITAIN - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT ROYALS)
British actress Barbara Windsor (R) and British comedian David Walliams arrive in costume for the reception following the civil partnership ceremony of British television and stand-up comedian Matt Lucas and his partner Kevin McGee, in central London December 17, 2006.REUTERS/Toby Melville (BRITAIN)
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (L) walks around the set of BBC soap opera Eastenders with actress Barbara Windsor, November 28 2001. The Queen has spent a day touring various broadcasting facilities including the set of long running sopa opera Eastenders and the news room of ITN [before going on to see a rehearsal of popular childrens television programme Blue Peter.]
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II meets stars of the BBC television soap opera Eastenders Barbara Windsor who plays [barmaid Peggy Mitchell] (C) and June Brown (L), who plays [Dot Cotton] during her visit to set in London November 28 2001. The Queen and [the Duke of Edinburgh] tour broadcast facilities in London.
Embargoed to 0001 Thursday February 14 File photo dated 28/9/2015 of Dame Barbara Windsor and Scott Mitchell, as Mr Mitchell has urged people to check for the early signs of dementia in loved ones on Valentine's Day.
Barbara Windsor at the laying of the final poppy at the art installation 'Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red' by artist Paul Cummins at the Tower of London.
Sir Bruce Forsyth and Barbara Windsor at the 30 year reunion of the cast and crew of 'The Talk of the Town', at the Hippodrome Casion, in Leicester Square, central London.
Barbara Windsor and husband Scott Mitchell arriving for the press night of Viva Forever at the Piccadilly Theatre, Denman Street, London.
Judith Chalmers and Barbara Windsor attend the �20 Million Opening of the Galleries of Modern London at the Museum of London, London, 27th May 2010.
Sir Michael Caine and Barbara Windsor attend the �20 Million Opening of the Galleries of Modern London at the Museum of London, London, 27th May 2010.
Barbara Windsor arrives for the Royston Blythe salon opening party at the Dorchester on Park Lane, central London.
Barbara Windsor (left) and Scott Mitchell (right) arrive at the premiere of Is Anybody There? Curzon Cinema, Mayfair, London.
EMBARGOED UNTIL 0001 SATURDAY JULY 12, 2008. Barbara Windsor playing Grant Mitchell in Carry On Eastenders in a sketch for the Sunday Night Project (TX: Sunday July 13, 2008 @ 2200).
EMBARGOED UNTIL 0001 SATURDAY JULY 12, 2008. Barbara Windsor playing Phil Mitchell in Carry On Eastenders in a sketch for the Sunday Night Project (TX: Sunday July 13, 2008 @ 2200).
Ladies from the cast of Eastenders, left to right, Kellie Shirley, Barbara Windsor, Emma Barton, Jo Joyner, Kara Tointon and Nina Wadia receive the award for Most Popular Serial Drama back stage during the National Television Awards 2007, Royal Albert Hall, London.
Barbara Windsor arrives for the British Academy Television Awards, held at the London Palladium, central London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday 20 May 2007. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire
Barbara Windsor arriving at the National Television Awards 2006, the Royal Albert Hall, London.
Actress Barbara Windsor arrives for the European premiere of Beyond The Sea, at the Vue West End in London's Leicester Square.
Kelly Holmes and Barbara Windsor before meeting The Prince of Wales backstage at the London Coliseum, in central London, Tuesday December 14, 2004 after the Royal Variety Performance. Anwar Hussein/allactiondigital.com
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"Our experience is of a care system that too often doesn't care – one that is completely inadequate, unfair, unsustainable and in dire need of more money. Across the country dementia care is difficult, an in some places even impossible, to access.

"Where support is available, it is of hugely variable quality and unaffordable for far too many. Too often, people with dementia end up hospitalised through lack of care, leading to enormous cost for the NHS and great personal cost to themselves.

"The collective political failure to agree to deliver care reform over decades has left us with a system in crisis. It is families that pick up the strain. Daughters, sons, partners and friends are stepping in and spending 1.3 billion hours a year providing care – many are at breaking point.

"Immediate investment in dementia care, through a Dementia Fund proposed by Alzheimer's Society, while a long-term funding solution is sought. Decisive action to fix dementia care funding, without delay, must be an immediate priority for your Government.

"We stand with people affected by dementia in urging you to Fix Dementia Care."

Overwhelming response

Mr Mitchell said: "My wife Barbara and I are so proud to be delivering this letter today from the Alzheimer's Society and all the tens of thousands of people who have signed it.

"This overwhelming response from the people across the country really shows the public outrage at the distress caused by our broken social care system."

Jeremy Hughes, chief executive of Alzheimer's Society, said: "The system is completely unprepared to support the growing numbers of people receiving a dementia diagnosis.

"How much more evidence is needed? Charities, businesses, the NHS and social care leaders themselves are united in exposing the alarming state of social care and the urgency needed to address it.

"We must end the dementia tax – we need an NHS Dementia Fund to address the most immediate needs while we must urgently see a long-term solution for social care being made a priority."

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