The Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid has announced plans (17th May 2022) to work across government to boost the £375 million already committed for research into neurodegenerative diseases.
Speaking at Alzheimer’s Society Conference 2022, the Health and Social Care Secretary confirmed the 10-year plan will focus on how new medicines and emerging science and technology can be harnessed to improve outcomes for dementia patients across the country.
Record NHS funding will help reduce the COVID backlog of dementia diagnoses, with 30,000 people facing delays during the pandemic. This will ensure timely support for the more than 900,000 believed to be living with dementia in the UK.
The plan will also focus on supporting people with their specific health and care needs while living with dementia.
The prediction is one million people will be living with dementia by 2025 and 1.6 million by 2040.
Work was started by the UK government to tackle the global dementia challenge at the first G8 dementia summit in 2013. The Challenge on Dementia 2020 was another milestone, which saw one million care workers and one million NHS workers receiving dementia awareness training.
The government has already committed £375 million into research on neurodegenerative diseases over the next 5 years and the Health and Social Care Secretary has committed to working across government to boost this further.
The government is already working with those who best understand dementia, including Alzheimer’s Society, ahead of setting out plans for tackling dementia.
Up to 40% of dementia is considered potentially preventable. What is good for the heart is also good for the brain, which is why the strategy will also include actions to tackle high blood pressure, physical inactivity, alcohol, and obesity, and to promote healthy eating.
The government has already announced other measures which will help those with dementia, including:
- Social care charging reforms, with more generous means testing and a lifetime cap on care costs.
- The integration white paper to better link health and social care systems.
- The Health and Care Act, which will put the person at the centre of care, with local systems designed to deliver seamless care and support people in retaining their independence, health, and wellbeing.
- Levelling up healthcare and reducing disparities across the country so everyone has the chance to live longer and healthier lives, wherever they come from and regardless of their background.