Dementia care in Scotland will be informed by public says SNP government

People with lived experience of dementia and their families will be central to a new strategy which aims to improve care, according to the Scottish Government.

The SNP is to launch a “National Conversation” on the disease which aims to identify what policy changes Scots would like to see.

It will include online and in-person discussions, which the government said would feed into a new strategy and will driven by a citizens’ panel.

Questions on the survey include, ‘what challenges need to be addressed in dementia care’.

Alzheimer Scotland is calling for action to address the so-called ‘dementia tax’ which it says results in people in care homes paying for nursing care that would be provided by the NHS if they had any other terminal illness.

The charity wants to see people with dementia given personalised assessments to determine how much nursing care they require and for this to be funded.

The previous strategy was focuessed on improving the diagnosis of a disease that is estimated to affect around 90,000 Scots.

Cathie Russell, of Care Home Relatives Scotland said: “It’s always good to focus on how services for people with dementia can be improved but as they say – talk is cheap.

“The Scottish Parliament has already agreed an excellent Charter on dementia but it didn’t help any of us through the pandemic when the human rights of people in care, more than 70% of whom have dementia, were totally disregarded.  

“We can only hope whatever is agreed this time is actually implemented.

“A huge priority for us is to have a much fairer way of charging for people who need 24/7 support.”

The Scottish Government said it had already provided an additional £3.5 million over two years to strengthen the support given people with dementia and their families after a diagnosis.

This funding is on top of an estimated £2.2 billion spent on dementia by local delivery partners annually.

Minister for Social Care Kevin Stewart said:“Scotland has a track record in supporting people living with dementia, as shown by our world leading commitment to provide immediate support in the first year after people receive a dementia diagnosis.

“If we are to improve that record further, we need to put people and carers at the vanguard of our policy work – helping us develop a new story together that improves the understanding of dementia and allows more people to live well with it.”

Responses will be open until December 5 and will inform a new strategy to be published by April 2023.


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