A new 10-year plan to tackle dementia and boost neurodegenerative disease research will be published later in the year

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Health and Social Care Secretary, Mr Sajid Javid MP, has announced a 10-year plan to boost the £375 million committed for research into neurodegenerative diseases.

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 to reduce the COVID-19-induced backlog of dementia diagnoses, with 30,000 people facing delays during the pandemic. It is also hoped that this funding will ensure timely support for the more than 900,000 believed to be living with dementia in the UK.

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 that everyone has the chance to live longer and healthier lives regardless of their background.

Speaking at the Alzheimer’s Society’s 2022 conference, Mr Javid said: ‘In short, I want it to be more ambitious than anything we’ve done before. To begin with: I want our Dementia Strategy to be a 10-year plan, not just 5, because we can only get to grips with long-term challenges by thinking long-term.

‘I’d like us to be as bold as we’ve been with our 10-year plan for cancer. It will be driven by the same four themes behind our reforms in health and care—what I call the “four P’s”: prevention, personalisation, performance, and people.’

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