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Daily launches front page dementia care bid to help 90,000 people

A daily newspaper is calling for better care for 90,000 people living with dementia in a new campaign.

Glasgow-based daily The Herald is aiming to tackle “Scotland’s biggest health issue” by backing Alzheimer Scotland’s Fair Dementia Care plea.

The campaign, run in conjunction with its sister daily the Glasgow Evening Times, calls for a manifesto commitment from all parties ahead of the 2021 Holyrood election that patients with advanced dementia will no longer be forced to foot the bill for end-of-life medical care.

The Herald also wants a commitment that all families will receive a year of post-diagnostic support, with Alzheimer Scotland estimating just 50 per cent receive this due to a shortage of dedicated link workers.

Herald campaign

The Herald splashed on the campaign’s launch yesterday.

In an accompanying editorial, reporter Caroline Wilson wrote: “Dementia is Scotland’s biggest health issue. There is currently no effective treatment and no cure.

“Patients in the final years of their lives are also facing ‘an injustice and an inequality’ because they are forced to foot the bill for specialist nursing care unlike those suffering from other terminal illnesses such as cancer, says Henry Simmons, head of Alzheimer Scotland.

“The charity says current policy is failing patients at the end stages of the disease because the needs of patients are assessed as social care rather than healthcare.

“Families face difficult choices to fund specialist nursing that should be a basic right.”

The titles are also calling for people to show their support for the campaign by signing the Alzheimer Scotland Fair Dementia Care petition here.

The charity hopes to gain 10,000 signatures – which The Herald and Evening Times want to boost to 50,000.

Henry Ainslie, deputy editor at the Evening Times and campaign coordinator, said: “More than 90,000 people are living with dementia in Scotland, and we want to make a difference for every one of them.

“Dementia is the biggest public health issue facing Scotland and it is time for action from our government and healthcare system. In its advanced stages it requires specialist personal care which comes at a significant cost for those living with dementia and their families – they should not face the additional worry of having to find the cash. This campaign will fight to ensure no family in Scotland ever has to be in that position.

“We also want to highlight the importance of proper care for those living with dementia and will shine a light on the significance of identity and dignity for people with the disease.

“Working with our campaign partners at Alzheimer Scotland and Glasgow’s Golden Generation in pursuing this action, we are showing how committed The Herald and the Evening Times are to fighting on behalf of our audiences and making a difference in society.”