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Dementia Research

Volume 517: debated on Tuesday 2 November 2010

12. What steps he is taking to prioritise funding for dementia research from his Department’s research budget. (20940)

Dementia is a terrible disease that devastates the lives of thousands of people in this country, and research is clearly key. The coalition programme signalled the Government’s intention to prioritise funding for dementia research. The spending review confirmed that and committed to real-terms increases in spending on health research.

Will the Minister expand on the future funding of mental health trusts? We all know the statistic that one in four people suffers from mental health problems in their lifetime, and it is a great problem in South Derbyshire.

The hon. Lady is absolutely right that it is important that we are clear about that. Currently, funding for mental health services comes via primary care trusts, and from 2013-14 onwards allocations will be provided via GP commissioning consortiums.

I welcome the hon. Gentleman’s first answer, but may I ask him to go further and place in the Library a list of all the areas of principal research that the Government are to fund, both directly and through research charities? It would be incredibly helpful for the public to understand exactly how the Government intend to handle the research programme for dementia and all other areas of health.

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for his question, because I chair the ministerial group that is considering how we can improve and increase the supply of research. It is examining a number of matters, including how we can ensure that there is an increase in the volume of research, how we can engage the public—he is absolutely right about that—and how we can translate research into practice quickly. Next year we will set out more detailed proposals and publish the details of all the research programmes that are under way.