Forget the bickering and work together

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THE row over the lowly rates of dementia diagnosis in the Borders rumbled on this week, with the spokesperson for local GPs refuting criticism that family doctors in the Borders have, for some reason, been dragging their feet when it comes to diagnosing the disease.

In recent weeks we have printed stories highlighting concern from organisations such as Alzheimer Scotland that this region is trailing the rest of Scotland when it comes to the numbers of people confirmed with dementia.

Prevalence rate figures which are said to have proved correct for the rest of Scotland show that the Borders must have an undiagnosed population of dementia sufferers some 1,800 strong. And fingers of blame have been pointed at local GPs for being slow to diagnose patients with dementia. But this week that claim was refuted.

The craziness of this situation, however, is that we are all on the same side – that is for the provision of best possible care for those in our communities unfortunate enough to have been blighted by this terible illness.

So is it not possible to work more closely together for a common goal? GPs are the frontline of our health services and have a vital role to play. Those who work for charities such as Alzheimer Scotland or bodies such as NHS Borders and local social work departments also have an integral role to play.

For this situation to improve, all parties need to be pulling in the same direction and if they are not, they need to sit down together and figure out why and how that can be improved.