It is important to record the narrative of dementia policy in Scotland accurately

I recently wrote to the Minister for Mental Health with concerns about  the way the Scottish Government has chosen to record the narrative of dementia policy in Scotland.

I have received this reply from the Scottish Government:

I have sent this letter of reply:

Tuesday, 1st August 2017

To: Strategic Lead for Dementia
Dementia Strategy and Delivery Division,
Scottish Government.

Copied to: Maureen Watt, Minister for Mental Health

Dear Ms Barclay,
Thank you for your letter of the 28th July 2017 in response to my recent communications.

The 1st Dementia Strategy included specific targets for the “early diagnosis” of dementia and no mention whatsoever of a timely diagnosis.

It is therefore inaccurate for the Minister to state in her foreword to the 3rd Dementia Strategy that “Our first strategy was published in 2010 and focused on improving the quality of dementia services through more timely diagnosis”. It is also inaccurate to describe the 1st Dementia Strategy as a “broad statement of policy intent” when incentivised targets for early diagnosis were involved.

It would be wrong to consider this as simply a matter of vocabulary as these different approaches can and indeed did have significantly different consequences for those affected.. I welcome the consideration of a timely approach from the 2nd Strategy onwards.

I will be sharing our correspondence on my website as I feel it is important to record the narrative of dementia policy in Scotland accurately.

Yours sincerely
Dr Peter J. Gordon

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