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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-13306: Jenny Gilruth (Mid Fife and Glenrothes)

Scottish National Party

Date lodged: 11 December 2017

To ask the Scottish Government what assessment it has made of the increased costs to the NHS associated with a rise in the number of people with dementia, and what reforms to health services are required to meet the challenge of the ageing population.

Answered by: Shona Robison 9 January 2018

The Scottish Government estimates that the overall annual cost associated with people with dementia is around £2.2 billion.

We estimate that two thirds of this cost is met by people with dementia and their families, including unpaid care and privately funded care homes costs and the balance, of around £900 million, is the overall cost to Integration Authorities for providing health and social care services. People with dementia account for around 1.4% of the Scottish population, and account for at least 10% of most expensive 100,000 recipients of health and social care services.

It is commonly assumed that the number of people with dementia is likely to double between 2010-2025. Last year, we published a document giving the first ever estimate of annual dementia diagnosed incidence in Scotland, projecting this number to rise to around 20,000 per year by 2020 and breaking the estimate down to NHS Board level. The document gives service planners useful estimates on the annual demand on services, particularly in the area of post-diagnostic support. We plan to commission a refresh of this document in the future, with estimates broken down to Integration Joint Board level.

The integration of health and social care is designed to support the whole-system planning and delivery of health and social care services, to enable more people – including those with dementia – to stay living well at home or in a homely setting for longer. The Scottish Government’s 2017-2020 National Dementia Strategy supports this, with key action on extending post-diagnostic support and improving integrated home care and palliative and end of life care. To support Integration Joint Boards in planning dementia services, we have commissioned a more detailed assessment of the cost and utilisation of services by people with dementia and we expect this to be complete by early in the new financial year. Integration Joint Boards are responsible for planning, commissioning and delivering dementia services. The actual costs associated with dementia would be difficult to compile given the diverse spend associated with the illness.