Thousands of patients could receive faster diagnosis and better treatment as Government invests in gene-based therapies and artificial intelligence
NHS patients could lead healthier and longer lives following significant government investment in new research to improve treatment, diagnosis, and care options for devastating diseases including cancer.
The Government has unveiled details of how it will help thousands of people across the country living with debilitating, painful and/or sometimes life-threatening diseases by investing £133m in life-changing treatments for arthritis and cancer and for pioneering gene-based therapies for diseases including dementia and Parkinson’s.
Faster, more-accurate diagnosis, and earlier interventions will be boosted by £50m to be pumped into NHS diagnostic services and support the work of existing centres of excellence in digital pathology and imaging with artificial intelligence (AI).
The centres – based in Leeds, Oxford, Coventry and London – will be able to partner with more NHS trusts and further develop cutting-edge products using digital systems and AI that could ultimately save lives.
Adult social care will also receive a new cash injection of £7.5m to use research to improve care delivery for some of the most-vulnerable people in society; and £14m for bioscience projects and technologies across the UK that could, for example, treat osteoarthritis and develop new vaccines.
This commitment will play a vital role in ensuring that our scientists and thinkers have the tools they need to find new treatments that will support people to lead longer, healthier lives
Business Secretary, Andrea Leadsom, said: “Chronic and painful illnesses like arthritis and Parkinson’s are dreadful and prevent people from living a full life.
“Curing these kinds of debilitating illnesses is one of the great challenges we face globally, and this commitment will play a vital role in ensuring that our scientists and thinkers have the tools they need to find new treatments that will support people to lead longer, healthier lives.
Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, added: “We’ve got to bring NHS technology into the 21st Century.
“I’ve seen for myself how better technology and diagnosis can save clinicians’ time so they can concentrate on care.
“The NHS is now spearheading world-leading technologies that can transform and save lives through new treatments, diagnosis techniques and care.
“I’m determined that the benefits of these advances will improve the lives of thousands of patients whose conditions have long been considered life-limiting.”
And Minister for Innovation, Nicola Blackwood, said: “The UK is a global powerhouse in health research and innovation.
The investments announced today will cement this, and help to further deliver on the NHS’s international leadership on applying artificial intelligence to complex health problems.
“ Today’s announcement is good for patients, good for staff, and good for researchers.”
The £133m investment will tackle important chronic diseases and also create a national centre of evidence for implementing the best evidence to provide adult social care.
A further £69.5m of the total investment through UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) will help fund four British projects:
£30m will pay for new therapies and technologies directly targeting genetic mutations which could be rolled out to treat diseases including cancer, Huntingdon’s, Parkinson’s and arthritis.
The NHS is now spearheading world-leading technologies that can transform and save lives through new treatments, diagnosis techniques and care
£12m will go towards deepening our understanding of pain. This will reveal new treatment approaches and address a wide spectrum of chronic and debilitating conditions including arthritis. Versus Arthritis will contribute an additional £12m over three years.
£7.5m funding will be used to support high-quality research leading to improvements in the delivery of social care across the UK; implementing innovations with the potential to allow more people to receive care from the comfort of their own home.
£20m, of which the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) is contributing £10m, will go into research into multimorbidity – when someone is suffering two or more long-term health conditions – and will propel forward drug development, allow for earlier diagnosis, and reduce progression to more severe illness and disability.