Scotland’s new dementia strategy

A 10-year dementia strategy setting out a long-term vision for change has been published by the Scottish Government.  The strategy, titled “Everyone’s Story”, promises to address thorny issues like long waits for a diagnosis, consistent access to good quality post-diagnostic support, well-coordinated care and support, and access to palliative care.

Implementation of the strategy will be underwritten by a series of two year “delivery plans” for different aspects of the strategy, which the Scottish Government believes will “hold us to account on the long-term transformation we want to see and that people living with dementia and their care partners ae entitled to expect.”  The first delivery plan is due to be agreed by the end of 2023.

A pledge is made in the strategy to “strive to promote and uphold Human Rights Principles” and take a human rights approach through the dementia journey.  It is admitted that “less than half of those who are entitled to post-diagnostic support receive it”, but the strategy adds that peer support networks, Meeting Centres and dementia-friendly communities can all help to ensure that everyone receives it in future.

Charity Age Scotland welcomed the new strategy and commended the involvement of people with lived experience in drawing it up.

“The commitments outlined today represent an extremely positive step towards ensuring every person living with dementia receives the care and support they deserve, as well as recognising the needs of unpaid carers in their own right,” said Age Scotland head of dementia Dr Kainde Manji.

“The importance of community-based approaches came up time and time again during our engagement work, so it’s heartening to see a strategy which features such strong recognition of the role that Dementia Friendly Communities and Meeting Centres play in post-diagnostic support”.