Health Minister launches documents on care standards for dementia and a framework for staff working with people with dementia and their carers in Scotland
Monday 06 June 2011
Marking the first anniversary of the first-ever National Dementia Strategy in Scotland, the Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing and Cities Strategy in Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, launched the publication of two documents (a) Standards of Care for Dementia in Scotland and (b) Promoting Excellence - A framework for health and social services staff working with people with dementia, families and carers.
Ms Sturgeon said that the standards in the first report 'represent a consensus on what we mean by good quality care and describe and define what is expected by services in order to meet the level and quality of care we all expect, every time and in all care settings". She added that the standards will empower people to both understand and assert their rights. The standards state, amongst other things, that:
- people with dementia should be treated with respect,
- people with dementia and their families and carers should take and active and central part in the care and be fully informed of the care package and decisions taken as dementia progresses
- there should always be an integrated assessment to establsih clearly causes of behaviour in order to develop a care plan to manage behaviour challenges. Antipsychotic drugs should never be used just because they are the easiest way of managing difficult behaviour.
The implementation of the recommendations in the report 'Promoting Excellence' will take place over the next two years and involves a range of initiatives including:
- updating professional qualifications
- enhancing existing workforce capability
- developing leadership within the dementia workforce.
Ms Sturgeon said, “It is absolutely essential that older people, and people with dementia, receive the best possible care and are at all times treated with dignity and respect. Improving the quality of care and support provided to people with dementia is a top priority.”
Henry Simmons, Chief Executive of Alzheimer Scotland, said, “Alzheimer Scotland has long campaigned for the human rights of people with dementia to be recognised and we welcome the Minister’s commitment to ensuring that people with dementia receive world class support, care and treatment. The new dementia care standards for Scotland, and framework for improving the skills and knowledge of health and social care professionals, means that people with dementia should receive high quality care from the services they need, no matter where they live across Scotland.”
“However, we have major concerns about cuts to services by local authorities. These must be avoided at all costs. Cutting or even restricting access to services of this nature for people with dementia and their families is no different from reducing available medical treatments for conditions such as cancer or heart disease. High quality, timely and flexible support is not yet being provided consistently to everyone across Scotland and many support services are either being reduced or cut. This has to stop. No person, no family, partner or friend should have to deal with the very complex, changing and challenging needs of dementia on their own. ”
Agnes Houston, Chair of the Scottish Dementia Working Group, said of the Standards of Care for Dementia in Scotland, “This is not just another document to sit on a shelf, but something practical that can be used to take to services and show the quality of care you expect- and if you don’t get it you can use it to support your complaint and ensure you get the standard of care you are entitled to.”
Caroline Brown, carer, said, “These standards should have a great impact; not only on quality of life for people with dementia and families, but also in improving attitudes towards care and support. We have never had access to this sort of guidance before and it is to be welcomed. Personally, I feel that I have been listened to as a carer and that makes a huge difference.”
For more information please see the Alzheimer Scotland website at: www.alzscot.org