SCOTLAND’s national dementia charity has warned that those living with the disease “simply do not have the time” to wait years for the improvements a National Care Service (NCS) may bring.

A draft Bill for establishing an NCS was published by the Scottish Government earlier this week, with ministers seeking to implement the legislation by the end of this parliament.

The Bill would transfer responsibility for social care from local authorities, as well as healthcare functions from the NHS and local health boards, to a new national service, in the hope of ending what ministers have described as a “postcode lottery” of care.

Although Alzheimer Scotland welcomed the Bill’s publication, the organisation emphasised that “too many people are in crisis” under the current health and social care system, through which they cannot “access the help they need, when they need it.”

An Alzheimer Scotland statement responding to the draft Bill stated: “People living with dementia today, and those who care for them, simply do not have the time to wait for three or four years for the improvements that we hope a National Care Service may bring.”

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While the charity acknowledges that Scotland already has progressive national dementia commitments, there is nevertheless “a substantial gap between national commitments and the delivery of those commitments in people's lives where they matter most.”

Additionally, Alzheimer Scotland argues that the draft Bill is “silent” on the inequality of those people living with advanced dementia who face paying social care costs for the health and specialist nursing care they require.

The statement concludes that the Bill’s publication is “not a substitute for immediate action”, and that Scotland needs “transformative change now”.

The intervention follows earlier criticism of the Bill from the STUC, which argued that a “truly transformative” NCS would “see an end to the profits being made by private companies who deliver social care”.