THE Scottish Liberal Democrats have become the first party to pledge support for free health care for patients with advanced dementia.

The Evening Times is seeking a manifesto pledge from all five political parties ahead of the 2021 elections that they will support the campaign by Alzheimer Scotland, which we are backing.

Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said the party was committed to “equality of access to expert health and nursing care.”

Mr Rennie said: “Far too often patients and their families are finding themselves on a carousel of emergency room visits, hospital trips and inadequate care services.

Read more: Visiting elderly day care centres in Glasgow opening my eyes to dementia 

“Everyone deserves to live with dignity.That means ensuring that fair dementia care is put in place.

“Scottish Liberal Democrats are committed to ensuring that people with advanced dementia have equality of access to the expert health and nursing care that they need. “This means finally ending care charges for the personal care of people with dementia

“I hope that all parties will commit to making this a reality.”

Read more: 'It's an injustice and an inequality': Evening Times backs campaign to end health care costs for people with advanced dementia 

At the launch of a new documentary yesterday by the charity highlighting the disparity of care, Former First Minister Henry McLeish said he hoped the First Minister take forward legislation ahead of the next parliamentary elections.

Mr McLeish, who contributed to a major report by the charity making the case for free care and whose late father suffered from dementia said: “This is an issue beyond party politics.

“Yes, there is a financial aspect but it’s relative compared to the hardship faced by families.

“We are not asking for a vast new arena of care to be opened up.

“The mark of a civilised society is to take care of those most in need.”

Henry Simmons, Chief Executive of Alzheimer Scotland, said: “We very much welcome the Scottish Liberal Democrats commitment to delivering Fair Dementia Care.

“This brings us a step closer to securing full cross-party political support which we believe is essential in order for Scotland to rise to this challenge and bring an end to the injustice and inequalities that people with advanced dementia and their carers face.

“Yesterday we launched a short documentary film to demonstrate the harrowing unfairness that families face when their loved ones have advanced dementia.”