NHS Health Scotland welcomes Scotland’s National Dementia Strategy 2017-2020. It offers an excellent opportunity to promote a national approach with NHS health boards, integrated joint boards and third sector partners. All the partners will continue to work together to support individuals through provision of support from hopefully very early diagnosis, taking account of individual needs and circumstances and reducing health inequalities.

We particularly welcome commitment 15 of the strategy to support the implementation of our own 2016 report’s recommendations on dementia and equalities. In particular through:

  •  raising awareness and increasing understanding of signs and symptoms of dementia among all of Scotland’s different population groups
  • ensuring clearly signposted, robust, culturally competent, locally informed services and post-diagnostic support pathways for people from the protected characteristic groups with a diagnosis of dementia
  • sharing appropriate workforce knowledge and skills to encourage people to seek help early
  • commissioning further research to determine the most effective ways to raise understanding and awareness of dementia among different population groups.

George Dodds, Director of Health Equity at NHS Health Scotland, said

“We will continue to work with Alzheimer Scotland, Healthcare Improvement Scotland through Focus on Dementia and the Scottish Social Services Council. Together, we provide knowledge and support to health boards, local authorities, third sector partners and others involved in working with integrated joint boards.  This ensures that dementia care is person-centred, responsive to the needs and circumstances of individuals, delivering the support they need from the moment of diagnosis and throughout their lives.

“Improving services for people with dementia is a national priority and is recognised as having a positive effect on communities by supporting families and carers.

“We are pleased that the Scottish Government has drawn upon our research to inform the strategy.

"We welcome the strategy’s holistic approach and the commitment to addressing health inequalities and the social determinants of health.”

You can find out more about the new strategy and read our dementia and equality report on our dementia page.