DUMBARTON’S MSP has accused the Scottish Government of failing dementia patients after new figures showed the death rate in West Dunbartonshire rose by a fifth.

Jackie Baillie has demanded better support for people with dementia following a National Records of Scotland report revealed deaths from Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias rose to 116 in 2022 from 95 the previous year.

The 22 per cent rise has been slammed by Scottish Labour’s deputy leader and Ms Baille has called on the SNP administration at Holyrood to take the new report as a wake up call.

Ms Baillie said: “This tragic rise in dementia deaths must be a call to action to improve the support available. The figures for West Dunbartonshire are far worse than the Scottish average. This shows that there needs to be targeted support here.

“Under the SNP social care is at breaking point and our NHS is in chaos. Dementia patients are paying the price and their families are being left devastated by their deaths.

“It is essential that care homes and social care services have the resources they need to deliver the highest possible standard of care for those with dementia.

“The SNP must act now to improve dementia care – from delivering the right post-diagnostic support to fixing the chaos in health and social care to investing in research.”

The research also showed the dementia death rate in West Dunbartonshire was more than three times higher than it was in 2000.

The poorest communities have again been hit hardest, with people from the most deprived areas 1.3 times more likely to die of dementia compared to those in the least deprived areas, adversely impacting on West Dunbartonshire.

Some 64 per cent of these deaths were in care homes, sparking fresh calls for greater support for care homes and social care.

However, a Scottish Government spokesperson explained to the Reporter a new strategy to tackle dementia had been implemented earlier in 2023 and will help patient care moving forward.

The spokesperson said: “Our thoughts and condolences are with all those who have lost a loved one. “We continue to work closely with Public Health Scotland and National Records of Scotland to analyse a broad range of data and better understand causes of death and any implications for public health and to tackle inequalities in our communities.

“The Scottish Government and COSLA jointly published a new Dementia Strategy for Scotland earlier this year which sets out an ambitious 10-year vision for dementia policy reflecting on some of the changes in our population demographics. “It was developed in collaboration with people with lived experience and wider partners and the first two-year delivery plan for the strategy will be published early next year.”

Across Scotland, there were 6,277 deaths caused by Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias in 2022, an increase of 4 per cent from 2021.