Alzheimer’s Research UK, the UK’s leading research charity, is applauding steps taken in the Long Term Plan released by NHS England today to improve the lives of people with dementia. The charity is calling for future work to be dedicated to overcoming the incredible challenges dementia presents to the health care system including increasing research and preparing for future treatments.
Dementia is the leading cause of death in the UK with 850,000 people living with dementia today. The condition costs £26bn from the UK economy each year and a quarter of all hospital beds are occupied by someone with dementia over the age of 65.
Hilary Evans, Chief Executive at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:
“Dementia is the health crisis of our time. In just two years, the number of people living with dementia in the UK will increase to over a million and the condition will cost our economy over £30bn each year.
“The steps outlined in the Long Term Plan work towards overcoming the challenge dementia presents to our health care system today, but we must also be ready for life-changing breakthroughs in research in the coming years, including preparing for future treatments and improving diagnostic tools.
“Through the Challenge on Dementia and future plans for the NHS, we need to see infrastructure that supports research including encouraging people to take part in dementia studies at the point of diagnosis. Without advanced research and the development of an effective treatment for dementia, we will see this condition continue to harm our loved ones, the UK economy and the health system.”
Alzheimer’s Research UK has called on the government to lead this effort through an action plan that includes five key areas of focus, including committing to spend the equivalent of 1% of the annual cost of dementia on research.
Alzheimer’s Research UK is asking the public to support a Parliamentary debate about increasing investment in dementia research by signing our petition at alzres.uk/petition.