In June of this year, the Prime Minister asked the NHS in England to set out a long term plan for the future of the NHS, setting out ambitions for improvement. In response, the NHS asked NHS leaders, clinicians and patient representatives to help develop its priorities and received over 2,500 responses. In Alzheimer’s Research UK’s response, we emphasised the need for people living with dementia to access accurate and timely diagnosis and the need for the NHS to prepare for future live changing treatments, while also committing to an environment that supports dementia research.
The REF exercise, a system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions, is due to be repeated in 2021. In October of this year, the draft guidance on submissions and panel criteria, which set out the detailed proposed requirements for submissions to REF 2021, were published. An online consultation was launched calling for responses on key aspects of these publications. In Alzheimer’s Research UK’s response, we questioned how multidisciplinary research will be assessed, requested further clarification on the evaluation of non-publication outputs of research, and emphasised the importance of valuing intra-institutional collaboration.
In May of this year, the UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) published its Strategic Prospectus, detailing a Research and Innovation Strategy. Based on this, the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee is undertaking an inquiry on the balance and effectiveness of research and innovation spending. In Alzheimer’s Research UK’s response to this inquiry, we focused on the requirement for long-term sustained investment to support dementia research, the need to involve patients and the general public across research areas to inform public spending on R&D, and the importance of
ensuring an equal balance of pure and applied research to deliver beneficial outcomes to patients.
NICE reviewed and updated their dementia clinical guideline and we submitted our response to the proposed new guideline.