South Scotland Labour MSP Colin Smyth has called for better support for those diagnosed with dementia after the latest figures for dementia support in Dumfries and Galloway revealed that almost 40% of those suffering from the dementia in Dumfries and Galloway are not being referred for support when they are diagnosed with the disease.

A report released by the Scottish Government’s Information Services Division (ISD) Scotland showed that in the financial year 2016/17 only 390 of the 648 patients in Dumfries and Galloway diagnosed with dementia were referred for Post-Diagnostic Support Services (PSD). This meant 39.8% were not referred for PSD services.

In April 2013, a new Local Delivery Plan Standard was introduced which meant all newly diagnosed patients with dementia should receive a minimum of one year’s post diagnostic support.

Colin Smyth who is also Deputy Convenor of the Scottish Parliament’s Cross Party Group on Dementia said, “These figures show that only 60% of dementia patients are being referred for the care, help and support and that is just not good enough. Dementia has serious life changing impacts that affect not only the person living with the condition but their family and friends. It is concerning that as more people are being diagnosed with dementia, and local charities and groups are working on the ground to support those with the condition and raise awareness, the Scottish Government have failed to meet their own targets.  The SNP Government must take immediate steps to improve dementia care across Dumfries and Galloway, and make the resources available to the local NHs so all newly diagnosed dementia sufferers get the support they need.”

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