Cameron pledges extra £85m to medical research

The government will inject an additional £17m a year over five years to boost NHS research and fund new centres to focus on dementia.

Mr Cameron: the investment of £800m over five years would have a ‘huge impact’ on NHS care

The additional money will pay for four new research units specialising in dementia and increase funding for biomedical research centres (BRCs) – collaborations between NHS foundation trusts and universities in England.

Prime minister David Cameron described the total five-year investment of £800m by 2017 as ‘unprecedented’ and said it would have a ‘huge impact’ on NHS care.

The NHS National Institute for Health Research established BRCs in 2007 to undertake ‘translational’ research – work that helps bring scientific research into medical practice.

The further investment, first announced in March, will see BRCs’ annual funding rise to over £160m, up from around £143m in 2011, although the number of centres will shrink by one to 11.

Biomedical research units (BRUs) specialise in translational research in areas less well represented by BRCs.

As preliminarily announced in June, four new units specialising in dementia will launch in April 2012, bringing the total number of units to 20.

Funded by a total of £3.6m a year, the new dementia units will involve joint working between NHS foundation trusts and universities in Cambridge, Newcastle and London.

Overall, the annual budget for all 20 BRUs will increase to £25m, up from £22m in 2011. Existing BRUs focus on cardiovascular disease, deafness, gastrointestinal disease, musculoskeletal disease, nutrition and respiratory disease.

Prime minister David Cameron said: ‘This unprecedented investment into the development of innovative medicines and treatments will have a huge impact on the care and services patients receive and help develop the modern, world-class health service patients' deserve.’

Health secretary Andrew Lansley said: ‘We want to ensure we can give NHS patients the very best possible treatments and health outcomes. To do this we need to give British scientists the means and tools to develop ground breaking world class health research.’

Mr Lansley said developing new treatments to help patients with dementia was ‘essential’.

England's CMO Professor Dame Sally Davies, said: ‘By focussing on translational research across a wide range of diseases, the centres and units will help pull new scientific discoveries into benefits for NHS patients. I believe they will make a significant impact on the health of the population.’

*Figures revised at 16:30, from estimated spend for 2011/12 to actual values.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Just published

GP appointment

General practice delivered 342m appointments in 2022 - and lost nearly 500 GPs

General practice in England delivered around 342m appointments in total in 2022 with...

NHS sign

Local GPs unite to take over two practices run by hospital trust

GPs in Swindon have come together to take over two practices that had spent more...

Talking General Practice logo

Podcast: Why are junior doctors preparing to strike?

Talking General Practice speaks to BMA GP trainee committee chair Dr David Smith...

Money

Practices face losing out on QOF income amid soaring demand

GP practices risk losing out on QOF income this year because sky-high demand for...

Nurse giving older man a COVID-19 vaccine

JCVI recommends targeted COVID-19 vaccination programme in 2023

People at higher risk of severe COVID-19 should be offered a booster vaccination...

Health and social care secretary Steve Barclay leaving number 10 Downing Street

Government sets out plans for 'major conditions' health strategy

The government is to set out a strategy to tackle six 'major' health conditions in...