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Alzheimer’s Research UK welcomes government’s pledge to tackle dementia crisis

The commitments form part of a new UK-wide strategy to alleviate pressures on the health system

Alzheimer's Research UK

The UK government has made new commitments to tackle the dementia crisis as part of its ‘Major Conditions Strategy’, a decision welcomed by Alzheimer’s Research UK.

Announced by health and social care secretary, Steve Barclay, the new UK-wide strategy aims to alleviate pressure on the health system, as well as support the government’s ambition to increase healthy life expectancy and reduce the number of those out of work due to ill health.

‘This work combines our key commitments in mental health, cancer, dementia and health disparities into a single, powerful strategy,’ Barclay said in a written ministerial statement.

Alzheimer’s Research UK said it now wants to see the concept of brain health embedded within the strategy as a holistic approach to preventing dementia and promoting healthier lifestyles.

The charity’s director of policy and public affairs, Samantha Benham-Hermetz, said: “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."

The new commitments come just days after Alzheimer’s Society, another UK dementia charity, delivered an open letter to the government urging it to deliver on its ten-year plan for dementia amid concerns of commitments ‘falling by the wayside’.

Originally announced in May last year by the then health and social care secretary Sajid Javid, the plan included ambitious commitments such as doubling dementia research funding by 2024 and reforming the social care system.

Also included was a promise to focus on assessing how new medicines and emerging science and technology can be used to improve outcomes for dementia patients across the country, as well as ‘record’ NHS funding to help reduce the COVID-19 backlog of dementia diagnoses.

Article by
Emily Kimber

25th January 2023

From: Healthcare

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