The Liberal Democrats have voted in favour of a proposal to double dementia research funding to £132m by 2020 – five years ahead of the Government’s current commitment. The party agreed to adopt the policy at its annual conference today as part of a motion on creating an ‘age-ready’ Britain. The motion also included proposals to improve dementia diagnosis rates and care, to reduce the inappropriate use of antipsychotic drugs for people with dementia, and to promote dementia friendly communities.
The debate followed a speech from Norman Lamb MP, Minister for Care Services, in which he called for the NHS to shift its emphasis ‘from repair to prevention’, with a focus on helping people to stay healthy, and pledged additional support for carers.
Hilary Evans, Director of External Affairs at Alzheimer’s Research UK, the UK’s leading dementia research charity, said:
“We welcome this commitment to double dementia research funding by 2020, something which Alzheimer’s Research UK has campaigned for to be part of the next government’s action plan to defeat dementia. Investment in research has brought big gains in other disease areas such as cancer: we need to see similar successes in the fight against dementia. Proposals for a greater emphasis on prevention are welcome, and efforts to promote healthy lifestyles should also include actions to promote good brain health and reduce dementia risk.
“The Minister for Care Services rightly highlighted the overwhelming strain that dementia can place on those who are caring for a loved one with the condition. With over 830,000 families in the UK currently facing this battle and that number set to rise, long-term, sustained investment research is crucial if we are to lift the burden of dementia.”
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