Like so many people, I’m constantly bombarded with unwanted emails from people offering to “boost my business”. I delete every one of them – because The Butterfly Scheme absolutely isn’t run as a business; it’s always simply been a movement to improve hospital dementia care.

The emails often offer to bring more contacts – but I don’t want them; if someone doesn’t know they need to improve their dementia care and hasn’t looked around to see how they can do so, they simply don’t have the motivation to deliver the care the way I’d want them to.

Often, there’s an offer to approach organisations for me – but again, if the organisation hasn’t prioritised improvement to dementia care and doesn’t have a leader who’s pushing that forward, I would never accept them into the Scheme anyway. I’ve never in all these years approached an organisation; they’ve all approached me, usually having heard about it from others who are already involved. When someone has shown they’re being proactive about improving their dementia care, that’s the essential first step towards any chance of going ahead to adopt the Scheme.

I’m fortunate to work with a lot of really motivated people with a passion for helping their organisation offer the best dementia care it can. That takes insight, effort and commitment from them and they really are top-notch. Although I’d love every hospital to offer excellent dementia care, I’m pragmatic; pushing unmotivated, uncommitted people along won’t make them lead their dementia care with the passion that’d make it great. 

Over the years, beacons of excellence have maintained their fabulous dementia care, showing that it’s possible in all types of hospitals and circumstances. I can never thank them too many times.