Implementation of the strategy is progressing well. For example, care standards and a national skills and competencies framework for health and social care staff are on track to be published this year. A formal report on year 1 of the strategy’s implementation will be published in June, as per the commitment in the strategy.
I thank the minister for her positive response. Like my colleague Nicol Stephen, this is probably the last time that I will speak in the Parliament, but I think and hope that many of the people on the front benches will return to carry on the good work that is going on. I will be delighted if the dementia strategy is foremost in their thoughts as the Scottish Government implements new policies.
I thank John Farquhar Munro for his kind and supportive words and I wish him well in the future. I know of his interest in the dementia strategy. The issue has been important to the Government and to me, because it has the potential to touch so many people’s lives, so it is appropriate that John Farquhar Munro has ended his parliamentary career with a question on the issue. I wish him all the best.
I draw the minister’s attention to the most recent meeting of the cross-party group on Alzheimer’s, at which we heard from research experts in the field. Is she aware that the Scottish dementia clinical research network’s funding is guaranteed only until March 2012? Does she agree that if we are to achieve the world-class status to which the dementia strategy refers, a commitment to long-term, secure funding is vital, to enable the network to undertake much-needed long-term planning?
I acknowledge the member’s long-term interest in the issue and the good work of the cross-party group, which was very much involved in the development of the dementia strategy. The research network’s funding is secure until March 2012, as she said. Funding for research into dementia is important and I am sure that that will help to inform discussions on future funding of the network.