Thank you for contacting me about dementia care.
I believe increasing public awareness and understanding of dementia among the wider public is vital to ensure that people are supported to live well with the condition and I am encouraged that there are over 3 million Dementia Friends.
Research is crucial to understanding and tackling dementia. In 2017, the Government launched the UK Dementia Research Institute, in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer’s Research UK, with £290m funding, the single biggest investment ever made in the UK in this field. Under the Challenge on Dementia 2020 strategy, the Government’s commitment to spend over £300m on dementia research between 2015 and 2020 was met a year early, with £341m being spent by March 2019 through the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and the Department of Health and Social Care. The Government is also supporting the £79 million Accelerating Detection of Disease challenge, a project bringing together the NHS, industry and leading charities to support research into the early diagnosis of disease, including dementia.
By the end of 2020, all relevant staff will be expected to have received appropriate dementia training, including training relevant staff to be able to signpost interested individuals towards research via the Join Dementia Research Service. I understand that good progress has been made against this goal, and more options are currently being explored to increase take-up of more advanced training among those who need it.
As I am sure you are aware, the Prime Minister recently announced the Government’s intention to provide the NHS with an additional £33.9 billion by 2023/24; this is the largest, longest funding settlement in the history of the NHS. This landmark settlement investment to help secure the long term future of our NHS is extremely welcome, and I hope you agree it demonstrates the Government’s commitment to properly funding our NHS and public services. As part of this, there is a commitment to improving detection, with more targeted screening and Rapid Access Diagnostic Centres, so that in 10 years’ time these measures will help achieve 55,000 more people surviving cancer each year, and 100,000 heart attacks, strokes and dementia cases being prevented.
I understand my colleagues in DHSC are considering proposals from the Alzheimer’s Society regarding the establishment of a dementia fund, designed to offer a source of funding to help those who need financial support for the additional costs associated with dementia treatment and care.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.