Falkirk West MSP Michael Matheson has backed the Scottish Government’s new dementia strategy, which will transform services for people living with the condition by ensuring they get the support they need at all ages and stages of the illness.

The three key priorities under the three-year strategy are:
• Continuing timely, individual-centred and consistent treatment and care for people living with dementia, and their carers, in all settings.
• Making more progress on the provision of support after diagnosis and throughout the disease, taking account of individual needs and circumstances.
• Responding to the increasing proportion of older people developing dementia later in life, often alongside other chronic conditions.

Mr Matheson said: “When the SNP first came to power 10 years ago, we made dementia a national priority. Since then, good progress has been made to improve care and support for people living with the condition, but we know there is more to do.

“Unlike the Tories with their callous dementia tax plans, the Scottish Government is focused on delivering better services for the 90,000 dementia sufferers in Scotland. This new strategy will continue to drive those improvements.”

The strategy was launched by Minister for Mental Health Maureen Watt, who said: “I am determined that we do more to make dementia care person-centred, responsive to the needs and circumstances of individuals, and 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.”

Alzheimer Scotland’s chief executive Henry Simmons welcomed the “progressive and ambitious” strategy. He added: “We call on all integration authorities to ensure that delivery of this strategy is given priority and resources, so these aspirations become the reality for people living with dementia.”