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£66m funding for dementia by 2015

26th March 2012

Prime Minister David Cameron has pledged to double the research budget into dementia to £66m by 2015.

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He said the extra funding formed a central plank of the government’s attempts to tackle the “national crisis” in care and that he wanted to see the UK become a world leader in the field.

Mr Cameron said: “One of the greatest challenges of our time is what I'd call the quiet crisis, one that steals lives and tears at the hearts of families, but that - relative to its impact - is hardly acknowledged.

“Dementia is simply a terrible disease. And it is a scandal that we as a country haven't kept pace with it. The level of diagnosis, understanding and awareness of dementia is shockingly low. It is as though we've been in collective denial.”

The condition already affects 800,000 people in this country - costing society some £23bn - with cases expected to rise to one million in ten years’ time.

Measures to tackle the problem include more research funding and encouraging the creation of 20 “dementia-friendly communities” where individuals, businesses and the state work together to support people with dementia.

Alzheimer’s Research UK said the move could be a turning point in the battle to defeat dementia while the Alzheimer’s Society said it was an "unprecedented step" towards improving care.

A public awareness campaign will be run by the Department of Health in the autumn and hospitals will be given financial incentives to carry out checks on patients to see if they have the condition.

 

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