Health written question – answered on 3rd July 2012.

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Photo of Steve Rotheram Steve Rotheram Labour, Liverpool, Walton

To ask the Secretary of State for Health

(1) how much of his Department's budget was allocated to research into dementia in each of the last two years;

(2) what recent progress has been made on research into dementia.

Photo of Paul Burstow Paul Burstow The Minister of State, Department of Health

The Department's expenditure on dementia research through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and the Department's Policy Research Programme was £18.6 million in 2010-11 and £25.1 million in 2011-12.

In March 2012, the Prime Minister announced as part of the coalition Government's challenge on dementia that the combined value of the NIHR, Medical Research Council and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funding for research into dementia will increase from £26.6 million in 2009-10 to an estimated £66.3 million in 2014-15. Three champion groups have been convened to bring together the leading organisations and groups with an interest in dementia to support the delivery of the challenge.

Three meetings of the Better Research Champion Group will be held between June and December 2012 and the frequency of meetings will be reviewed thereafter. The first meeting was held on 8 June 2012, bringing together some of the world's leading dementia scientists to strengthen research coordination and engagement, spanning basic research and translational research. The group will address the challenge of co-ordination and engagement, focusing on the actions needed to strengthen partnerships between research funders, research charities, universities, national health service trusts, providers and the life science industry.

Four new NIHR biomedical research units in dementia are being funded from April 2012:

NHS organisation University partner
Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust University of Cambridge
Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Newcastle University
South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust King's College London Institute of Psychiatry
University College London Hospitals University College London

These research units and NIHR biomedical research centres which include dementia themed research will share their considerable resources and world leading expertise to improve treatment and care.

The NIHR has completed a £17 million call for applied health research on dementia, as part of the programme of work to push further and faster progress in the prevention, treatment and cure of dementia. A full list of successful research bids will be announced soon.

The ESRC and NIHR will be working together to support an initiative with up to £13 million funding available for social science research on dementia. The call for proposals will open in the week commencing 9 July and will fund national or international social science research in dementia which can make a significant contribution to scientific, economic and social impact.

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