[A version of this item appears in: Dementia: the Latest Evidence Newsletter (RWHT), Volume 2 Issue 9, April 2012].
Funding for research into dementia will roughly double by 2015, with the aim of ensuring the UK remains a world leader in the field. Overall funding for dementia research in 2010 was £26.6m, but the plan is that by 2015 it will increase to £66m.
The Prime Minister David Cameron recognises that the level of diagnosis, understanding and awareness of dementia is low, considering that the problem affects roughly 800,000 people in the UK, at a cost estimated to be £23bn per year. The number of people with the disease is expected to exceed one million shortly.
According to today’s proposals, research funding will support the creation of 20 “dementia-friendly communities” where individuals, businesses and the state work together to support people with dementia. The Department of Health is to promote a public awareness campaign in Autumn 2012. Hospitals will receive financial incentives to carry out checks to identify patients having the condition; only four in 10 patients have a formal diagnosis currently.
Local council leaders have been quick to remind politicians that there is a crisis in the provision of care for the elderly. Mr Cameron claims to have the vision for devising plans to both increase research and to ensure that our health and social care systems are able to deal with the problem. This is his personal mission.
Triggle, N. (2012). Dementia: PM promises push to tackle “national crisis”. London: BBC Health News, March 26th 2012.