The Transforming Specialist Dementia Hospital Care report, commissioned by the Scottish Government and produced by Alzheimer Scotland, describes a vision for the future of specialist dementia care units within the NHS, based on the evidence and work of many committed practitioners and the views of people with dementia and carers. We are delighted that the principles and recommendations in the report are supported in full by The Scottish Government.
The report puts forward key proposals as to how we can improve the experience and quality of support for those small number of individuals requiring specialist dementia care. Alzheimer Scotland recognises the level of dedication and commitment shown by the many staff who work in these areas, however the report demonstrates that most specialist dementia care units are in outdated environments which are simply not fit for purpose. Radical improvements can and must be made to those settings and the current staff compliment needs enhanced with additional improved levels of multidisciplinary expertise and skills. The report also explores the fact that many people currently within specialist dementia units remain there too long due to a lack of investment in appropriate alternative, community-based care and offers a model for enhancing and improving this transition for people with dementia and their families.
This is just the start of what will be a major process of improvement within this field. Long term effort and focus to is needed to shape a future platform of support that will work effectively and meaningfully for people with dementia, their carers, partners and families.
Alzheimer Scotland wants to work closely with partners in health and social care to achieve this much-needed vision of better dementia care.