Health and Sport Committee - Draft Budget 2018/19
Alzheimer Scotland responded to the Scottish Parliament's Health and Sport Committee as part of their call for evidence on the Scottish Government's Draft Budget 2018/19.
The call for evidence was issued in advance of the publication of the draft budget and accordingly, sought specific themes for the committee to scrutinise in future. Accordingly our response does not refer to specific figures.
Summary of Response
Alzheimer Scotland focused on a number of different areas as part of the response noting some of the progress that had been made in recent years, specifically for people with dementia
The Gap Between Policy and Practice in Scotland.
Alzheimer Scotland noted that there was a gap between the ambitious health and social care policies at a national level and the delivery within localities across Scotland. One such example of this was the gap between Dementia Post-Diagnostic Support guarantee and the delivery by Health Boards.
Alzheimer Scotland recommended the committee examine how the budget can ensure that social interventions are valued as much as clinical interventions, including their potential as preventative interventions and look at how resources can be shifted into community settings, where an increasing number of people are being supported.
Alzheimer Scotland also noted the report 'Self-Directed Support: Your Choice, Your Right' which had highlighted the gap between the intentions of Self Directed Support legislation and the experience of individuals across Scotland who access social care. The report indicates that the delivery of this system is undermined by poor understanding of both public and professionals, inconsistent delivery between Local Authorities, difficulty in accessing support and no discernible change in the power dynamic between professionals and the individual seeking support.
Policy, Delivery and Ongoing Challenges.
Alzheimer Scotland noted that it is not evident that there has been a substantial shift in resources to allow for greater spending on community supports and services. Whilst recognising that this was partly as a result of the nature of the more resource intensive needs of patients admitted to acute settings, a significant factor also lay in resources being directed to meet the targets set nationally and was reflected in high levels of acute spend across Scotland..
Additionally, Alzheimer Scotland highlighted the considerable variation across local authority areas in the charging and delivery of care services. Furthermore, we suggested that the expansion of social care should not be an end in itself and could not cannot solely be an extension of current provision as this would not address some of the key issues, such as time-limited visits and tightened eligibility criteria.
Scotland’s Third National Dementia Strategy
Alzheimer Scotland noted that if the the aspirations of the third National Dementia Strategy this strategy are to become reality for people with dementia, their families and carers, it will require significant local investment in community-based, social supports. Not only will these returns offer significant improvements in the quality of life for people with dementia and their carers, the potential benefit to the system includes delaying admission to residential and formal care services, avoiding unnecessary admission to hospitals and preventing crisis-driven service responses, building capacity across our communities.