Paul Thomas – the Scottish Dementia Strategy

Paul Thomas is the Northern Coordinator for the Dementia Engagment and Empowerment Project, or DEEP. Following on from Philly Hare’s talk on the central role rights should play in pushing dementia policy forward, Paul focused on the third Scottish Dementia Strategy and, specifically, reactions to this document from DEEP groups.

The reactions to the strategy are put into greater context by looking at the priorities identified at DEEP’s series of ‘Gatherings’ across Scotland. It was at these events that the following priorities (among others) took shape. Namely that people living with dementia should have the right to self-management, be able to do normal things and be supported to maintain their relationships. The importance of gathering together – combating loneliness – was also emphasised, as was the need for accessible information and for those living with dementia to play a leading role in research.

I tried to cross the bridge of ‘self-management’ between the 5 pillars and the 8 pillars and it collapsed. It is not there

With these priorities in mind – and having provided an overview of the strategy itself – Paul outlined the reactions of many within the DEEP network.

One criticism is that the strategy, being “service-centred”, sits as an example of “policy-based evidence making. While the move away from the “bottom up” approach of Dementia Friendly Communities and a lack of commitments to family carers were also noted.

Please watch the video below for Paul's full presentation.