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There are an estimated 850,000 people with dementia in the UK. By 2040, the number of people with the condition is expected to double.

The UK Government has set an objective for England to be a world leader in fighting dementia and has committed to improving diagnosis, care and support, and research.

The Challenge on Dementia 2020, published in February 2015, set out what the UK Government wanted to achieve by 2020 in order for England to be:

  • the best country in the world for dementia care and support and for people with dementia, their carers and families to live
  • the best place in the world to undertake research into dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases

Some of the key objectives of the Challenge were:

  • Equal access to diagnosis for everyone
  • GPs playing a lead role in ensuring coordination and continuity of care for people with dementia
  • Every person diagnosed with dementia having meaningful care following their diagnosis
  • All NHS staff having received training on dementia appropriate to their role.

The Challenge on Dementia 2020 also contained the commitment to spend £300 million on dementia research over the five years to March 2020. This commitment was delivered a year early with £344 million spent on dementia research over the four years to 31 March 2019.[1]

The NHS Long Term Plan, published on 7 January 2019, also commits the NHS in England to continuing to improve the care provided to people with dementia and their carers.

The Government has said that it aims to bring forward proposals for a new strategy later in 2021, which will set out plans for dementia care, support, awareness, and research in England. The Government is also currently working on ways to significantly boost further research on dementia including medical and care interventions.[2]

A separate Library briefing is available on The effect of the covid-19 outbreak on people affected by dementia (November 2020).

[1]     PQ 144985 [on Dementia: Research], 3 February 2021

[2]     PQ 171711 [on Dementia: Research], 25 March 2021

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