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Standards of Care for Dementia in Scotland: Action to support the change programme, Scotland's National Dementia Strategy

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What the standards mean for you

If you are a person with dementia or a carer

The standards are based on your rights. You should use them to get the care, treatment and support you need. If you think the standards are not being met, there are a number of things you can do:

  • You can quote the standards when making a complaint to the care provider.
  • You can get help from independent advocacy or Citizens' Advice when making a complaint.
  • You can ask an independent organisation for advice or, in some cases, to investigate.
  • You can take your complaint further if you are not satisfied with the response. Whoever answers your complaint will tell you how to do this.
  • You can get legal advice if you think the care provider has broken the law.

On page 44, you will find a list of organisations that may be able to help you.

If you are a care provider

The standards let your staff who are providing services for people with dementia know what is expected of them and how to improve the quality of the service they provide. Health and social care providers from the statutory, private and voluntary sectors have equal responsibility for meeting the standards. In their day-to-day work, staff need to be aware of the standards and do their best to provide the care that the standards aim for.

You should measure your care against the standards and look to improve if you are not meeting them. External visiting, scrutiny and improvement organisations will want to know how you assess your care against the standards.

If you manage or commission services for an NHS Board or local authority area

These standards are intended to ensure that the quality of dementia care is in line with the Charter of Rights for People with Dementia and their Carers. You should use the standards to assess the services you manage or commission. Also, the standards should be reflected in your overall policy for helping people with dementia and their carers.

Initially, it will not be possible for you to assess all services against all the standards. You should examine the standards carefully and decide:

  • Which standards might your services, as a whole, not meet?
  • Which individual parts of your service are least likely to meet the standards?
  • How should you target your actions to measure whether standards are being met?
  • What action do you need to take so that your services improve if they fall below the standards?

External organisations and Scottish Ministers may ask for reports on what your services have done to meet the standards.

The role of external scrutiny and data collection

Scrutiny and improvement organisations will use relevant standards when carrying out their work. This will include examination of self-reports from services and visits/inspections where there is greatest evidence that standards are not being met. Investigations and issues arising from complaints will also help to determine whether services are meeting the standards.

Some data is collected centrally by the Scottish Government. There are plans to increase the amount of routinely collected data.

All of this will help to build up a picture of what Scotland, as a whole, is doing to meet the standards, where we are doing well and where we need to improve. We will produce public reports on how the standards are improving the care of people with dementia.

By doing this, we can make sure that services in Scotland provide care that respects the rights of people with dementia and their carers.