Scott Mitchell disappointed by Government funding for dementia

Dame Barbara Windsor’s husband Scott Mitchell slams Boris Johnson’s ‘disappointing’ funding for dementia sufferers after promising actress ‘I’ll do my best for you’ before death aged 83

  • Scott Mitchell said ministers ‘cannot lose sight’ of need for dementia treatments  
  • Said he was ‘disappointed’ to see Government ‘not doing more’ for sufferers
  • Dame Barbara Windsor had called on Prime Minister to ‘sort out’ dementia care

Dame Barbara Windsor’s husband said he was ‘disappointed’ to see the Government was ‘not doing more’ for people with dementia after the star called on the Prime Minister to ‘sort out’ dementia care.

The star’s partner of 20 years, Scott Mitchell, said his ‘heart went out to every person affected’ by coronavirus but ministers ‘could not lose sight’ of the need for treatments for those affected by dementia.   

It comes less than two years after Boris Johnson told the actress, 83, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2014, that he would ‘do his best’ after she delivered a letter to 10 Downing Street pleading for better care for fellow sufferers.   

In an interview with the Sunday Mirror, Mr Mitchell said: ‘It’s disappointing to see the Government is not doing more for people affected, despite the promises he made to me and Barbara in 2019.

Dame Barbara Windsor, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2014, delivered a letter to Downing Street pleading for better care for fellow sufferers in 2019

‘While we knew nothing could be done to save Barbara from this cruel condition, we were passionate about making sure action would be taken to save other families from the heartbreak it causes.

‘More than a year ago, the Government promised to double its funding for dementia research yet we have seen no further commitment to this pledge.’

In 2019, Dame Barbara called on the Prime Minister to ‘sort out’ dementia care as she made a rare public appearance at 10 Downing Street.

The Carry On and EastEnders actress, who was accompanied by her husband, delivered a letter to the Prime Minister pleading for better dementia provisions for sufferers.

Mr Johnson held the ailing actress’ hand as they sat in the garden, discussing the limitations of dementia care in Britain.

After receiving the letter, signed by more than 110,000 people, Mr Johnson said: ‘We’ll do this. We have to sort it out. I’m going to do my best for you. It’s a big old job.’

During the last election, the Conservatives pledged to increase public investment to £160 million in what the party described as the ‘largest boost to dementia research ever’ in the UK.

But Alzheimer’s Research UK claims that, a year on, there has been no further commitment or strategy outlined and has launched a petition calling for extra funding for dementia research.

Dame Barbara’s husband Scott Mitchell (pictured together outside 10 Downing Street) said his ministers ‘cannot lose sight’ of the need for treatments for those affected by dementia

In 2019, Boris Johnson told the actress that he would ‘do my best for you’ when she delivered a letter to Downing Street

Mr Mitchell said he was worried ‘we are moving backwards, rather than forwards’ in dementia research and urged members of the public to sign the petition.   

Famed for her infectious laugh her appearances in the Carry On films, the Shoreditch-born actress, known as ‘Babs’, first appeared on stage aged 13 before retiring at the age of 79. 

Mr Mitchell said on December 11 last year that his ‘best friend and soul mate’ passed away peacefully in a London care home at 8.35pm the night before. He had moved into her home a few days earlier to be by her side when she died.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: ‘We want to make this the best country in the world to live with dementia and we have committed to significantly increasing research funding to help improve detection and care for people living with all types of dementia, including Alzheimer’s.

‘As part of our 2020 Challenge on Dementia, the government has already spent £341 million on dementia research between 2015 and 2019, and has provided over £515,000 for Alzheimer’s Society to support their Dementia Connect programme.

‘We are currently working on ways to significantly boost further research into dementia.’  

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