Experts criticise DoH for lack of dementia research

The DoH has been criticised for underinvestment in dementia research and the NHS warned that it will struggle to survive the next 20 years, by a group of leading dementia experts.

Lack of dementia research
Lack of dementia research

This follows a series of parliamentary questions which revealed that less than 3 per cent of the DoH's research budget is spent on dementia research.

In an open letter to the health secretary Alan Johnson, Professor Simon Loverstone, of the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College London, and 10 other dementia experts call for greater funding into dementia research.

They say: ‘As the NHS turns 60, the question is not whether it will last a further 60 years, but if it can survive the next 20.

‘Funding for dementia research is pitifully low, while care costs are at an all-time high.

‘With the prevalence of dementia expected to double within a generation, the health service as we know it may well be unsustainable.'

They conclude that there is an urgent need to encourage national dementia research strategies to resolve the situation and for increased dementia research funding.

Rebecca Wood, chief executive of the charity Alzheimer's Research Trust added: ‘The DoH must reassert its commitment to social justice and financial prudence by proportionately funding dementia research.'

sanjay.tanday@haymarket.com

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