Public Health England sought views on whether dementia risk reduction messaging should be given to people aged between 40-64 during their NHS Health Check, following a pilot project. Alzheimer’s Research UK was involved in the pilot and supports the proposal to see the information given to all individuals having their NHS Health Check, as results showed that this encouraged people to make positive lifestyle changes.
Following the publication of the Government’s Life Sciences and Industrial Strategy, Alzheimer’s Research UK responded by highlighting what dementia research needs from Brexit and raised awareness of some of the issues around patient access to new treatments. We also showcased some of our successful collaborations and funding models such as the Dementia Discovery Fund and the Dementia Consortium, which could be replicated by other charities and in other disease areas.
As the research arm of the NHS, the NIHR is funded by the Department of Health and exists to fund and encourage health research. This consultation sought views on what direction the NIHR should take over the next 20 years to address future health challenges. We provided evidence showing that dementia is the greatest public health issue of our time and outlined the key areas where research is needed to address the gaps in our understanding.
The Welsh government’s consultation sought views on key actions to be included in the country’s first dementia strategy. Our response broadly welcomed the draft strategy, but recommended a commitment to promoting Join Dementia Research to help improve recruitment to dementia studies, and more explicit support for research to understand dementia
Following the publication of the government’s Green Paper on Building our Industrial Strategy, we argued that dementia research should be a priority area for research and development in the UK, with enhanced investment, measures to enable collaboration and increased support for the medical research sector. We also called for medical research charities to be recognised as key collaborators and partners in research.
In our response to The Labour Party’s consultation on the development of its industrial strategy, we highlighted the contribution charities make to medical research funding, arguing that R&D tax credit schemes offered to businesses should also be opened to charity funders of research to help stimulate investment. We also outlined concerns about the potential impacts of Brexit, underlining the need to protect research funding, international collaborations and the mobility of talented research staff.
In the run-up to the publication of the UK government’s Spring Budget 2017, we submitted evidence outlining the need for sustained government funding for research, infrastructure and skills. We also called for the government to fund a high-profile public health information programme to help people understand how they may be able to reduce their risk of dementia.