Scotland's National Dementia Strategy

Scotland's Third National Dementia Strategy (2017 - 2020) builds on work carried out since dementia was made a priority by the Scottish Government in 2007. Significant progress has been made in this time, however for many people, the gap between policy and real life experience remains too wide.

Alzheimer Scotland continues to support the Scottish Government to make progress on its commitments in the National Dementia Strategy. But the changes that will have the most impact need to be made locally, informed by the experiences of people living with dementia and carers across Scotland.

The commitments are progressive and ambitious, and will help deliver high quality, person centred support for people with dementia, their families and carers from the point of diagnosis to the end of life. It will require local areas throughout Scotland to maintain and increase their investment in dementia care, making dementia a priority locally.

The strategy contains 21 commitments which were informed by people living with dementia and carers, as well as other stakeholders across Scotland.  These include timely diagnosis, continuing to ensure high-quality post post-diagnostic support (based on our 5 Pillars Model of Post-Diagnostic Support), care co-ordination in the community (based on our 8 Pillars Model of Community Support) and a commitment to test new ways of supporting people with advanced dementia and at the end of life including testing our Advanced Dementia Practice Model.

The strategy continues the commitment to the Promoting Excellence Framework and supports the Allied Health Professionals framework, Connecting People, Connecting Support. Additionally it commits to the ongoing work to improve Acute Hospitals, Specialist Dementia Units and Care Homes.

Responding to stress and distress in dementia is an important theme of the National Dementia Strategy and the key documents outlined above. Alzheimer Scotland’s report Understanding stress and distress in dementia outlines core principles and approaches to this throughout the course of the illness.

The commitment to Post Diagnostic Support goes beyond the initial guarantee of a minimum of one year of Post Diagnostic Support from a named Link Worker for individuals diagnosed early in their illness.  The strategy commits to continuing this support, using the 5 Pillar Model approach beyond 12 months if necessary, until formal health or social care supports are needed. The strategy commits to individuals diagnosed later in their lives and whose needs would more appropriately be delivered using the 8 Pillar Model, receive Post Diagnostic Support from a Dementia Practice Coordinator and through until advanced illness.

These commitments enhance a progressive dementia policy which was already world-leading.

If you are looking for more information about the current national dementia strategy, or to see any consultation responses Alzheimer Scotland has submitted, please contact [email protected] or call our Freephone 24 hour Dementia Helpline on 0808 808 3000.