Coronavirus (COVID-19) - dementia and COVID-19: action plan

This national action plan plan sets out how we will build on our national response to the coronavirus pandemic since March 2020 and how we will continue and expand that response in 2021 to continue to support recovery for people with dementia and their carers.

Annex A – Summary of Commitments

Commitment 1: The Scottish Government will continue to engage with participants from the engagement process, to help monitor and review the implementation and impact of this plan at 6 and 12 months. A national governance group including COSLA and representatives from health and social care partnerships will be established to oversee governance and reporting on the plan.

Commitment 2: We will undertake work with partners to evaluate the impact of the pandemic on the rights of people with dementia and their carers – including the rights to make informed individual choices about risk as far as possible - across all care settings and produce a report that will inform recovery and enhance and strengthen our shared human rights approach to dementia which has underpinned our action over the last 10 years.

Commitment 3: The Scottish Government will conduct a full equality impact assessment on this plan. In undertaking this impact assessment we are appraising what the potential impact the actions outlined in the plan are likely to be in relation to protected characteristics under the Equality Act and several further equality considerations, including socioeconomic inequality, rural/ remote locations and digital exclusion. This work is ongoing and involves external engagement with equality groups, people with dementia and their carers.

Commitment 4: We will continue to support our national commitment on post-diagnostic support, to increase access to this service and to the community support individuals need to continue living well as part of the wider community. As part of this, in partnership with COSLA, local partnerships, Alzheimer Scotland and other stakeholders we will take forward work in the first four months of 2021 to review and assess the provision and design of post-diagnostic services and identify both best practice and barriers to further expansion of the service. We will also establish a process to engage regularly with local delivery partners to assess progress and identify and help address local issues.

Commitment 5: We will support an increase in dementia diagnosis rates to mitigate the impact of the restrictions to services including further engagement with primary care as the gateway to specialist diagnostic services. We will continue, and expand, work with health and social care partnerships and others on supporting an increase in the number of people who get a referral into dementia post-diagnostic services through service innovation, service redesign and workforce support to improve the consistency and quality of PDS services.

Commitment 6: We will work with health and social care partnerships to enhance integrated and co-ordinated support for people with dementia to live well and safely in their own home, connected to their local community, for as long as possible and to minimise hospital admissions – and do more to support those with dementia who live alone. As part of this we will spread learning from the local whole-system dementia care approach being tested in Inverclyde.

Commitment 7: We will implement the commitment in the Mental Health Recovery and Transition Plan to support and improve older people's mental health and wellbeing for people with dementia and their carers, with particular attention to COVID-related issues such as trauma (and delayed trauma), bereavement and depression.

Commitment 8: We will work with health and social care partnerships to support the physical rehabilitation for people with dementia and their carers through implementation of the Framework for Supporting People through Recovery and Rehabilitation and we will integrate that response with the national dementia Allied Health Professionals' Framework Connecting People, Connecting Support.

Commitment 9: We will continue to support and monitor the reopening of Adult Day Services for the benefit of people with dementia and their carers. We will also continue to expand and monitor the uptake of access to Self-Directed Support by people with dementia.

Commitment 10: We will continue to maximise the impact of telecare and address digital exclusion for people with dementia and their carers.

Commitment 11: Working with local health and social care partnerships and the third sector, community groups and businesses we will support and enhance local dementia-enabled communities and reduce social isolation and loneliness, as part of our shared action to strengthen and recovery resilience in our communities.

Commitment 12: We will engage with carer representatives to ensure carers of people with dementia are aware of and can access the support available to them, including their rights under the Carers (Scotland) Act 2016. We will also work with our dementia stakeholders to maximise awareness and uptake of the support carers have a right to access.

Commitment 13: We will provide funding for counselling support through Alzheimer Scotland for carers of people with dementia in response to the pandemic which will complement mental health support accessed in the NHS.

Commitment 14: Through the national Dementia in Care Homes working group we will continue to work with the care home sector to help ensure people with dementia have their rights and dignity upheld, and access to the rehabilitation they require in response to COVID-19.

Commitment 15: As part of work on Excess Deaths during the pandemic, we will commission and publish a piece of research to help inform and enhance clinical and other professional responses to people with dementia who contract COVID-19 in the vaccination and recovery phase.

Commitment 16: We will commission a study in partnership with the Care Inspectorate to examine the use and review of psychoactive medication in care homes during the pandemic.

Commitment 17: To support care for people with dementia in acute care during the pandemic, we will continue to co-fund to the National Dementia Nurse Consultant programme and we will fund a further cohort of the Dementia Champions programme which upskills and empowers frontline staff on dementia.

Commitment 18: We will continue to implement the COVID-19 Dementia Anticipatory Care Guide to help those living with dementia, and their families. Through national service improvement support from Healthcare Improvement Scotland and the two national dementia workforce programmes, health and social care staff are supported to use this guide to help those living with dementia, and their families, plan the care that is right for them.

Commitment 19: We will continue to fund and support our national dementia workforce development and service improvement programmes – Promoting Excellence and Connecting People, Connecting Support and Healthcare Improvement Scotland's Focus on Dementia programme - as they support staff and services to respond and adapt to COVID-19.

Commitment 20 : In 2020/21 we will continue to prioritise trauma training support for the Health and Social Care workforce, including staff who support people with dementia and their carers.

Commitment 21: The Scottish Government is supporting Brain Health Scotland to share and promote knowledge and facilitate and encourage behaviours that evidence tells us will help keep our brains healthy and reduce our risk of developing some forms of dementia.



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