NDA payoffs and the Alzheimer’s Society

Photograph: Graeme Robertson/The Guardian

I work for the Alzheimer’s Society from one of its regional offices and am one of the many proud to do so. I’ve never met Jeremy Hughes, and started after the other staff members you mention left, but in my region I’ve only experienced a positive work environment with passionate staff and volunteers who do their very best for people living with dementia. I was shocked to read your article and sincerely hope the amount quoted isn’t true (Report, 22 February). However, the letters you published (25 February), while interesting, were very one-sided.

The figures mentioned by Dr Alan Fowler are misleading. While the society spent £8.6m on direct care in 2019, it spent a further £80m on other vital services such as research both to find a cure and on how best to improve the lives of people with dementia now, providing vital literature, keeping a 24/7 online help forum open and operating a helpline which takes thousands of calls a year. In the year these figures are from, 96% of people living with dementia agreed our services met their needs.

I meet people living with dementia every day and see how the society is helping. Allegations like these have to be investigated thoroughly and are disappointing, but please remember the many thousands of people the society has helped and is helping now.
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• I was devastated to read your article. It brought back memories of my mum’s 20 long years of suffering from Alzheimer’s and that of the many other people I met when visiting her in a specialist care home.

For all the time my mum was ill I raised money for the Alzheimer’s Society and fully intended to continue. I saw this as my way of fighting back against this awful disease. I was proud of the fact that, with the help of kind friends, we have raised thousands of pounds for the charity, but that could now be a futile effort if many thousands have been wasted in payoffs.
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