Tuesday 28 September 2021 / 8:23 AM Jonathan Ashworth

Labour will double dementia spending to tackle one of the biggest health challenges facing the country


Labour will double dementia spending to tackle one of the biggest health challenges facing the country


Speaking at the Labour Party’s Annual Conference today (Tuesday 28 September) Jonathan Ashworth MP, Labour’s Shadow Health and Social Care Secretary will announce that a Labour Government would double current spending on dementia research in the years ahead to play its part in finding a cure for the disease.


As part of the Party’s commitment to not only protecting, but enhancing, the UK science base and achieving 3% of GDP spent on science and research across the economy, the Shadow Health Secretary will say that dementia is one of the biggest challenges facing the country and is a leading cause of death. Pointing to statistics showing that 1 in 3 children born today will develop dementia in their lifetime, Ashworth will say that Labour would prioritise investment in dementia and aim its sights on a cure.


The current Government research target is for £1.6 billion to be invested in dementia research by the end of the decade, but in the years before the pandemic, funding for dementia research decreased by £7.2 million from £82.9 million in 2018-19 to £75.7 million in 2019-20.


Under the current speed of investment, it would take nearly 20 years for this Government to meet their investment goal.  Labour are pledging that in government, dementia research would be a crucial part of government science spending, and that annual spending would double to £160 million. If Labour were in power now, that would mean the investment target would be hit sooner – within the next decade.


Speaking at Labour Party Conference, Jonathan Ashworth, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Care will say: 


“Dementia is a leading cause of death, and no one has ever been cured of dementia. One in three people born this year will develop dementia.


“The economic cost is billions, the human cost unquantifiable. Throughout the history of the NHS, the genius of medical science has developed cures and therapies once thought beyond our horizons.


“What seem like medical miracles today will be routine tomorrow.


“I want us to raise our sights and glimpse at the possibilities of the future. But in recent years dementia research funding has fallen under the Tories


“Instead a Labour government will double funding for dementia research to play our part in finally finding a cure for this cruellest of diseases.”