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UK Government announces £113m to tackle ‘biggest’ public health challenges

A taskforce model, similar to the one that delivered COVID-19 vaccines, will be used

London

The UK Government has announced over £113m in funding to tackle four health challenges and said it will build on the taskforce model that delivered COVID-19 vaccines.

The ‘healthcare missions’ supported by the funding – cancer, obesity, mental health and addiction – are reportedly some of the biggest public health challenges facing the UK.

Of the £113 total funding, £22.5m will go into cancer research to develop new immune-based cancer therapies, including cancer vaccines, which are targeted to a patient’s specific cancer. The funding will also support the development of technologies that enable earlier, more effective cancer diagnosis.

Meanwhile, £20m has been earmarked to trial how best to deliver new medicines and technologies for people living with obesity, particularly in deprived communities across the UK. This will help new medicines coming to market – some of which have the potential to reduce a person’s weight by more than 20% – to better support people to achieve a healthy weight.

£40.2m will fund research into mental health to develop and introduce digital technologies to support patients, which could include technology allowing patients to monitor their mental health at home and instantly report to their doctor if in need of help.

Finally, £30.5m, including funds contributed through collaboration with the Scottish Government, will be used to accelerate the development of new technologies, such as wearable devices, to prevent deaths from overdoses across the UK. Funding will also help grow research capacity and capability across the UK to better understand addiction and the most effective ways to treat it as a chronic healthcare condition.

In line with the vaccines taskforce being used, the four healthcare missions will be led by an independent chair – an expert in that field – to accelerate the development and introduction of the latest treatments and technology into the NHS, as well as drive collaboration across partners.

The Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, said: “This funding will improve outcomes for patients, ease existing pressures on the system and ensure that we are among the first to benefit from medical breakthroughs. Importantly it will also help save the NHS millions of pounds that could otherwise be spent on patient care – for example by tackling obesity which costs the health service over £6bn annually.”

29th November 2022

From: Healthcare

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