The Health Secretary Sajid Javid has announced a new 10-year plan that aims to reduce the prevalence and severity of dementia in the UK.

Up to 40% of dementia is considered to be ‘potentially preventable’, and the Health Secretary has announced that the new plan will focus heavily on research in order to better understand what causes the neurodegenerative disease.

Funding will go towards reducing the backlog of patients awaiting a dementia diagnosis

The plan, which is due to be published later this year, will also focus on how new medicines and emerging science and technology can be harnessed to improve outcomes for dementia patients across the country.

In addition, a funding boost will go towards reducing the backlog of dementia diagnoses caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, which currently stands at 30,000 people.

With the number of people living dementia expected to rise to one million by 2025 and 1.6 million by 2040, the government hopes the plan will improve the lives of millions across the UK.

“Ambitious words” must now translate into “meaningful delivery plans”

However, Mark MacDonald, the associate director of advocacy and system change at the Alzheimer’s Society, said the government must act “quickly” to deliver the plans that dementia patients and their families have been waiting over two years for.  

He said: “The secretary of state today spoke of the ‘seismic shift’ needed in dementia diagnosis and care and a bold 10-year plan that gives the UK’s largest killer the attention it needs.

“However, his words will mean nothing if not backed by equally ambitious funding and delivery mechanisms which put people with dementia at their heart, and who need to see tangible change now. We have now been waiting more than two years for the promised dementia moonshot to double research funding, which will help us improve care and find a cure.

“For too long government action has not matched the scale and impact of dementia. We welcome the secretary of state’s ambitious words today but we must now see this translate quickly into meaningful delivery plans for which ministers should be held accountable.”