Dementia will be made a national priority under Scotland’s new primary healthcare strategy, the Scottish executive has announced.
The Better Health, Better Care strategy published this week set a target for each NHS board to improve
early diagnosis and management of patients with dementia by March 2011.
The strategy cited evidence from charity Alzheimer Scotland that found a significant number of older people in care homes with dementia were not diagnosed and lacked access to appropriate treatments.
In response, Kate Fearnley, health and community policy director of Alzheimer Scotland welcomed the strategy, but called for it to be backed by sufficient funding.
She said: “We welcome the commitment to investing in training and support for people with long-term conditions and their carers: with the right help to manage the difficulties dementia can bring, people with dementia and carers can have a better quality of life and avoid preventable problems.
“However, it is also important that resources will be made available to allow services to grow in line with the predicted 75% increase in number of people with dementia in the next 25 years.”