The government is currently holding a series of consultation events around England gathering input for their New Deal for Carers document to be drafted shortly. I was invited to attend the consultation in the North East held on Wednesday this week. At the end of the event, attendees were invited to submit any further thoughts to the civil servant leading the development of the new deal. I thought that some of you might be interested in the succinct letter which I forwarded Wednesday evening (see attachment). I have not, yet, received any acknowledgement or reply. I anticipate that I will and look forward to sharing them with you. I have three key reasons for pushing hard on these issues: 1. I am receiving superb support for my wife (J.) yet so many others are not. If one group of people can deliver the existing policy well, why cannot all? 2. Unless and until the existing policy is being well delivered there is little value to be gained from improving the policy - it won't be delivered either. 3. Poorly-delivered policy almost always costs more than well-delivered policy. Until there is cost-effectiveness with today's policy there will be a huge reluctance to grant further government resources. Unusually in government policy work, it is crystal clear that the care of dementia - and other mental illnesses - demands significant further resource. (In most other areas the fundamental problem is resources waste because the policy is being poorly-delivered). It is not right for us simply to demand that further resource, we must think through how it can be paid for. That means we must justify one or more of a) tax increases; b) efficiency savings; c) different priorities within government. Finally, if anyone has a way of getting these thoughts into the higher echelons of the Society, please feel free to forward them. As those of you who have read some of my earlier posts will know, I have been totally unsuccessful over the past year in getting any acknowledgement from the Society's office - e-mails, letter, request on survey or phone. Were it not for the occasional change in the society's home page, I would conclude that the office personnel were "virtual".