David Cameron has pledged more than £300 million to be spent on research into dementia. The announcement was made while the prime minister was visiting a Dementia Friends event hosted by the Alzheimer’s Society. It was also announced that all NHS staff, from surgeons to hospital porters, will have to undergo training in dementia with the aim of providing the best possible standards of care.
He described tackling dementia as “one of the greatest challenges in our lifetime”, stating that an international dementia institute will be established in England over the next 5 years with the intention of making the UK a world leader for research and medical trials.
He said “What today’s announcement is about is a very simple but bold ambition, and that is to make to United Kingdom the best place on the planet in terms of researching into dementia, in terms of diagnosing people with dementia and then in terms of treating, helping and caring for them.
“Not just hospitals and care homes, but the whole of our country making dementia friendly communities. We have gone a huge way in the last five years of really putting this issue on the map and now we are making very bold announcements for the future.”
Chief executive of the Alzheimer’s Society, Jeremy Hughes, said “Our researchers, staff and volunteers who are delivering support to people with dementia nationwide now sit as part of a national movement more than a million strong. Dementia Friends is truly changing attitudes and capturing the public’s attention. Together we are transforming lives today and reaching out for preventative treatments and a cure tomorrow. This Government has rightly prioritised dementia.
We would all acknowledge the work that remains to be done, but the PM deserves credit for the phenomenal achievement in getting dementia on the national and global agenda and this has resulted in significant progress.”