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.

Human rights and equalities

"We're all in the same storm, but not all in the same boat""

"There is inequality…irrespective of COVID"

"It is good to see the proposal for an equality impact assessment. I hope this will be a commitment so that any areas of avoidable discrimination can be addressed"

  • In Scotland we are rightly proud of our shared human rights approach to dementia - one that is person-centred and supports people to live with choice and dignity as an important part of their community, wherever they are in their illness and that listens and responds to what matters to individuals and families in their lives. This matters now more than ever as we recover from the pandemic.
  • As we move into the vaccination phase, the need to balance the infection risk, and risk to the NHS, with upholding human rights was raised by people with dementia, their families and professionals alike. People with a diagnosis expressed the view that they often felt disempowered by an assumption that they are unable to make their own judgements about personal risk. Service providers working to reopening community services sometimes expressed frustration that rigorous risk assessments have not resulted in reopening and family carers felt that all the risk associated with supporting someone to remain living at home now sits with them.
  • Everyone acknowledged the pressure of decision making at pace during the pandemic but that, post pandemic, a rethink of how we approach risk, be considered.
  • We are also taking forward a national engagement process on equality impact assessing this plan and that will report early in 2021 and will be a companion to this document.

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.



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