Thank you for contacting me about dementia care ahead of this year’s Autumn Budget.
As a proud Dementia Friend of the East Riding Dementia Action Alliance, first and foremost, I believe increasing public awareness and understanding of dementia among the wider public is vital if we are to ensure the sustainable delivery of social care services. I am delighted to hear that organisations like the Alzheimer’s Society are working tirelessly to recruit volunteers and build support networks for people suffering from this terrible condition. I am encouraged that there are now over 3 million Dementia Friends to prop up the nation’s community-first approach to care.
Of course, while social care provision goes a long way to address the immediate needs for those suffering from dementia, research is crucial if we are to further develop our understanding of Alzheimer’s and tackle dementia head-on. In 2017, the Government launched the UK Dementia Research Institute, in partnership with the Alzheimer's Society and Alzheimer's Research UK, with £290m funding, the single biggest investment ever made in the UK in this field. Under the Challenge on Dementia 2020 strategy, the Government's commitment to spend over £300m on dementia research between 2015 and 2020 was met a year early, with £341m being spent by March 2019 through the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and the Department of Health and Social Care. The Government is also supporting the £79 million Accelerating Detection of Disease challenge, a project bringing together the NHS, industry and leading charities to support research into the early diagnosis of disease, including dementia.
As you know, the Government is integrating and improving health and social care to protect people at every stage of their lives. In the manifesto on which I was proud to stand, it was made clear that we must build the same level of consensus on social care that we have already built on the NHS, across political parties, so that an answer can be brought forward that solves the problem, commands the widest possible support, and stands the test of time. I stand by this commitment and urge my colleagues and constituents of all political beliefs to take part in a conversation about establishing a care system fit for the 21st century.
I have spoken with colleagues at HM Treasury about your suggestions for the Spending Review taking place this year. While I am regrettably not in a position to pre-empt the conclusions of the review, I have been assured by my colleagues that they are aware of the points raised. The conclusions will be announced to Parliament alongside the Autumn Budget on October 27th.
Thank you again for getting in touch.