Thank you for contacting me about research into and treatment for dementia.
There are currently 900,000 people living with dementia in the UK and this is projected to rise to 1.6 million by 2040, so research is crucial to understanding the condition and improving outcomes for those affected.
I shall endeavour to attend the Westminster Hall debate on new dementia treatments on the 11th of January if my diary allows.
The Government is committed to supporting research into dementia and has committed to double funding for dementia research, to £160 million per year by 2024/25.
In August 2022, the Dame Barbara Windsor Dementia Mission was launched along with £95 million of Government funding. The Mission is part of the commitment to double dementia research funding and aims to speed up the development of new treatments.
A new taskforce – made up of industry, the NHS, academia and families affected by dementia – will lead this work to allocate dementia funding. You can register your interest to take part through the Join Dementia Research website here: https://www.joindementiaresearch.nihr.ac.uk/
The National Institute for Health and Care Research has also launched a number of new initiatives to support dementia research, such as investing nearly £11 million to develop new digital approaches for the early detection and diagnosis of dementia.
The Government has announced its intention to develop and publish a Major Conditions Strategy. The strategy will set out a strong and coherent policy agenda that sets out a shift to integrated, whole-person care. Interventions set out in the strategy will aim to alleviate pressure on the health system, as well as support the Government’s objective to increase healthy life expectancy and reduce ill-health related labour market inactivity. Dementia is one of the six major conditions included in the strategy.
Last year, the Government held a call for evidence for the Major Conditions Strategy. The Government is analysing evidence received and will respond in due course.
The Department, via the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR), invests in world-class facilities, expertise and a skilled delivery workforce for clinical research in the NHS and wider health and care system. This includes the Dementia Translational Research Collaboration, which plays a critical role in coordinating UK dementia research in early phase clinical trials and the NIHR Clinical Research Network Dementias and Neurodegeneration Specialty, which supports patients, the public and health and care organisations across England to participate in dementia research spanning the full translational research pathway.
The multi-year Vision for the Future of UK Clinical Research Delivery was published in 2021, setting out the Government's ambition to create a patient-centred, pro-innovation and digitally enabled clinical research environment. The Government also commissioned Lord O’Shaughnessy to conduct a review into commercial clinical trials following a drop in the UK’s performance during and following the pandemic. The Government published the full response to the Lord O’Shaughnessy review in November 2023.
In the Autumn Statement 2023, the Chancellor announced that the Government is launching the first Clinical Trials Delivery Accelerator (CTDA) focused on dementia, with up to £20 million of the £121 million funding announced for clinical trials at the May life sciences moment, to help innovation reach NHS patients even faster.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
Sally-Ann Hart MP