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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

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Shotts to be Scotland’s first dementia friendly prison

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HMP Shotts is working with Alzheimer's Scotland in a bid to become Scotland’s first dementia friendly prison

HMP Shotts is working with a national charity to improve conditions for staff and inmates with dementia and earn the title of Scotland’s first dementia friendly prison.

Alzheimer Scotland staff have been working with staff and prisoners at the North Lanarkshire prison to raise awareness of the condition and demonstrate how aging inmates can be supported.

Prison bosses now hope Shotts can be recognised as dementia friendly by the end of the year.

We intend to build stronger links and awareness sessions for staff and prisoners going forward

Scott Cringles, the prison’s skills and employability manager at Shotts, said: "HMP Shotts is really proud to be the first prison in Scotland to link in with Alzheimer Scotland for both staff and prisoner dementia awareness sessions.

“With both an aging prisoner and staff population, this partnership with Alzheimer Scotland has really given us something to focus on and we intend to build stronger links and awareness sessions for staff and prisoners going forward.

“If we can give staff some information, which will have the added benefit of recognising signs and symptoms, not only in work but also in home life, then there is a clear benefit to all.”

Lorna Hart, Alzheimer Scotland dementia advisor, said the collaboration aimed to increase awareness while also tackling stigma and improving inclusion.

She added: “During our discussions with staff, we have looked at ways to create dementia friendly environments including the workplace itself and the layout of the cells.

“We hope that this partnership will have a positive impact for the prison and for the staff. We look forward to working further with HMP Shotts helping them towards their ambition to becoming a dementia friendly prison.”

The charity said dementia is the single biggest health and social care challenge faced by society. More than 90,000 people in Scotland are living with the condition, 3,200 of whom are under the age of 65.

By the year 2020 it is estimated there will be more than 1 million people living with dementia in the UK.



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