Galloway health bosses refute dementia care claims

Treatment for our elderly population is the subject of  innovative  new methods being developed in Dumfries and Galloway say the NHS
Treatment for our elderly population is the subject of innovative new methods being developed in Dumfries and Galloway say the NHS

Galloway’s health authorities have rejected claims that dementia sufferers and their families get a raw deal when it comes to getting the support they need.

Indeed, Dumfries and Galloway NHS claims it is “at the forefront” of caring for those with the affliction.

Earlier this week South Scotland Labour MSP Colin Smyth called for “better support for those diagnosed with dementia” after the latest figures for dementia support in Dumfries and Galloway revealed that almost 40 per cent of those suffering from the disease were not being referred for support when they are diagnosed.

Quoting from a report released by the Scottish Government’s Information Services Division, he claimed it showed only 390 of the 648 patients in Dumfries and Galloway diagnosed with dementia last year were referred for Post-Diagnostic Support Services.

However, a spokesman for NHS Dumfries and Galloway said it had been “at the forefront” of work to accelerate dementia diagnoses and the support which follows, and was one of three innovation sites in Scotland pioneering this approach.

“Gillbrae Medical Practice in Dumfries is the pilot site for this work, with the Scottish Government providing funding for this over a two year period,” they said.

“This work aims to further develop earlier diagnosis of dementia and accelerate access to appropriate Post-Diagnostic Support.

“In addition to this, post-diagnosis support continues to be delivered by Alzheimers Scotland Dementia Link workers across Dumfries and Galloway, running in parallel with Gillbrae.”

However, Mr Smyth insists that the local health authority simply had not been assigned enough money by the SNP government in Edinburgh to meet its own promises on the provision of care for dementia sufferers.