As a tireless advocate for a timely approach to the diagnosis of dementia I was delighted to be there in person when the “Glasgow Declaration” was signed. This rights-based declaration enshrined the right for a timely diagnosis as well as promoting dignity and autonomy.
Those that signed the declaration included members of the Scottish Government, Alzheimer Scotland and the Mental Welfare Commission. Since then, over 50 organisations across Europe have signed the “Glasgow Declaration”.
In my last post I considered consent for “cognitive screening” and whether the current NHS Scotland approach fulfilled the criteria for “the progressive test” as set out by the Scottish Human Rights Commission.
Six months on from the launch of the Glasgow Declaration, I want to ask if recent developments in Scotland, by (1) Alzheimer Scotland and (2) the Dementia Services Development Centre fulfill the criteria necessary to pass “the progressive test”?
(1) In their latest “campaign” Alzheimer Scotland are advising us that we should “have difficult conversations” with our elders. In this campaign, Alzheimer Scotland promote “early diagnosis of dementia” which was not part of the Glasgow Declaration that Alzheimer Scotland signed in October 2014. I have asked Alzheimer Scotland about this, and my questions can be read here. As of yet I have had no written reply though the CEO, Henry Simmons, has kindly offered to meet with me.
(2) Professor June Andrews, Director of the Dementia Services Development Centre has recently suggested in a published letter that “the sooner someone sues a GP for the failure to diagnose as early as possible the better”. This suggestion has generated a vigorous debate. The suggestion by Professor Andrews would seem to fully diverge from the Glasgow Declaration.
My concern is that both of the cases highlighted above would not pass “the progressive test” as set out by the Scottish Human Rights Commission.