1. ITV Report

Rise in the number of people treated for dementia in the Scottish Borders

There are currently over 90,000 people in Scotland who are diagnosed with dementia Photo: PA

The number of people being treated for dementia in the Scottish Borders has risen sharply in the last three years.

Figures from NHS Scotland show 944 people in Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire were prescribed medicines for the condition in 2016.

This has risen by 45% since 2013, when the number of people receiving treatment was at 648.

Overall, there are more than 2,200 people living with a diagnosis in the Scottish Borders, with almost 100 of those being under the age of 65.

These numbers are expected to double as life expectancy increases, with more and more people affected by the difficulties of living with the condition.

What is dementia?

The NHS describes dementia as a group of symptoms linking to an ongoing decline of brain functioning. This may include problems with:

  • memory loss
  • thinking speed
  • mental sharpness and quickness
  • language
  • understanding
  • judgement
  • mood
  • movement
  • difficulties carrying out daily activities

NHS Borders provides post diagnostic support for patients and their families, including:

  • help to plan for the future
  • understanding of diagnosis
  • general health
  • help to keep patients involved in their community
  • peer support

MSP Rachael Hamilton said:

The increasing numbers of those on dementia medication in the Scottish Borders is startling. The increased numbers remind us of the big issue the NHS faces; an ageing population with complex health needs.

The increased numbers on dementia medication also highlight the need for Franks Law. And I am very pleased that my colleague Miles Briggs has managed to ensure this becomes legislation next year.

The SNP Government must continue to support to those in the Borders who suffer from dementia and improve transport to help hospital visits."

– Rachael Hamilton MSP for Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire

The Associate Director of Nursing for Mental Health commented:

Nobody should face dementia alone. Having conversations about dementia; with partners, with family and friends, or with medical professionals can make a huge difference to someone’s future quality of life.

For patients, their families, and carers, understanding more about dementia enables them to make informed choices to live well with dementia.”

– Peter Lerpiniere, Associate Director of Nursing for Mental Health, Learning Disability & Older People, NHS Borders