New dementia strategy unveiled

Focus on modern and person-centred care.

Transforming services to ensure people with dementia get the support they need, at all ages and stages of the illness, is at the centre of Scotland’s third dementia strategy.

The three key priorities under the new three-year strategy are:

  1. Continuing timely, person-centred and consistent treatment and care for people living with dementia and their carers, in all settings
  2. More progress on the provision of support after diagnosis and throughout the disease, taking account of individual needs and circumstances
  3. Responding to the increasing proportion of older people developing dementia later in life, often alongside other chronic conditions

Minister for Mental Health Maureen Watt launched the strategy while meeting representatives of the Scottish Dementia Working Group at a GP practice in Portobello. The practice is one of the first in Scotland to run post diagnostic support for dementia in a primary care setting.

She said:

“Ten years on from making dementia a national priority, good progress has been made in how we diagnose, treat and care for those affected. Therefore I am pleased to publish this third dementia strategy, which I am sure will continue to drive progress and build further on our achievements so far.

“I am determined that we do more to make dementia care person-centred, responsive to the needs and circumstances of individuals, delivering the support they need from the moment of diagnosis and throughout their lives.

“We will work in partnership with integration authorities, care providers, dementia charities and carers’ organisations to deliver this strategy. And most importantly, close engagement with people with dementia, their families and carers will be at the heart of our approach.”

Henry Simmons, Chief Executive of Alzheimer Scotland, said:

"Alzheimer Scotland welcomes this progressive and ambitious strategy, which will build on existing guarantees and take us closer to delivering a high quality, person-centred service for people with dementia and their families – from the point of diagnosis to the end of life.

“However, it requires local areas throughout Scotland to maintain and increase their investment in dementia care, as the gap between policy and practice in some places is far too wide.

“We recognise the good work taking place in many areas and would call on all integration authorities to follow this, ensuring that delivery of this strategy is given priority and resources so the aspirations become the reality for people living with dementia."


View in full Scotland’s Dementia Strategy 2017-2020.

Achievements under the previous dementia strategy (2013-2016) include:

  • Roll out of guarantee that anyone newly diagnosed is entitled to at least a year’s worth of post-diagnostic support
  • Improving workforce skills – with tens of thousands of staff accessing dementia education resources and undertaking training
  • Carrying out research to better understand how many people are diagnosed with dementia and the way it impacts on their lives
  • Taking the lead in the EU Joint Action on Dementia programme, working with EU institutions and countries to review and share best practice


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