Government Sets Out Vision to Reduce Ill Health and Tackle the UK’s Dementia Crisis

Alzheimer’s Research UK has welcomed new government commitments to increase healthy life expectancy and reduce ill-health in the UK, as part of its new Major Conditions Strategy.
The new UK wide strategy aims to alleviate pressure on the health system, as well as support the government’s objective to increase healthy life expectancy and reduce the number of people out of work due to ill-health. In a Written Ministerial Statement, the Department of Health and Social Care said, “this work combines our key commitments in mental health, cancer, dementia and health disparities into a single, powerful strategy.”

Now, the UK’s leading dementia research charity wants to see the concept of brain health embedded within the strategy as a holistic approach to preventing dementia and promoting healthier lifestyles.

An interim report on the strategy is set to be published in the summer.

Samantha Benham-Hermetz, Director of Policy and Public Affairs at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:

“Today’s commitment from government to publish a Major Conditions Strategy is a step in the right direction. We now look forward to contributing to the government’s consultation process to ensure a clear action plan emerges later this year. And this plan needs to deliver for people affected by dementia, who have waited far too long for action.

“Given the scale of the challenges that the UK health and care system is facing, the government’s holistic approach aimed at breaking down the walls between how different diseases are managed is welcome and sensible. As part of this vision, Alzheimer’s Research UK wants to see the government champion the concept of brain health.

“The best advice to look after our brains also has benefits beyond dementia and can help prevent other diseases too, like heart disease and cancer, which also cause thousands of deaths and drive health inequalities across the UK. If this government strategy were to promote the concept of good brain health throughout our lives, we believe it has the potential to make huge strides in reducing ill health and the subsequent pressure on our health and care systems.