John’s Campaign is so simple that it shouldn’t be a campaign — it should be an automatic accepted practice and that’s what we want to see.

When people with dementia are admitted to hospital they need extra care — everyone knows that. Many hospitals are already thinking hard about ways they can become more dementia-friendly and this is great (not just for people with dementia).

John’s Campaign states that if the carers of people with dementia are able and willing to spend time with them in hospital they should be welcomed and cherished. Visiting hours should not apply. If the patient needs their carer at mealtimes, all day or overnight and if the carer is willing to give this wonderful, free, person-centred support the hospital staff should be delighted.

Clinicians working in partnership with carers give each patient his or her best chance to maintain well-being though the hospital experience, stay safe and go home soon. John’s Campaign has been running for a year, evaluations are good and almost 200 hospitals (or wards within hospitals) have already pledged to welcome carers whenever the patient needs them.

We think this should be everywhere — it should be as embedded as the welcome given to parents of sick children. And not only for dementia patients: anyone who depends on another person’s support to cope with life outside hospital will still need that support when they are inside. It’s simple commonsense and kindness.

Please, ALL hospitals, hang out those welcome signs for carers. To join John’s Campaign email [email protected] with a 50 word statement to be added to the Observer list of hospitals who welcome carers.