Launch of Scottish Brain Health and Dementia Research Strategy

Section: People and NetworksType: News Item Date Published: 8th July 2021

Scottish Dementia Research Consortium (SDRC) and Brain Health Scotland release first Scottish strategy for research into dementia.

The ALLIANCE is pleased to endorse SDRC in its newly released strategy (this link will take you away from our website).

In recent years, the SDRC(this link will take you away from our website) has captured the strength of brain health and dementia research in Scotland and noted the potential for much of this research to be transformative in terms of the assessment, management and care of people with dementia or at risk of developing it.

The new strategy that will not only facilitate growth in Scotland’s research, but also support research getting rapidly into practice.

Many countries have dementia plans or strategies but Scotland is among the first countries in the world to develop a government-sponsored, standalone research strategy for brain health and dementia.
The overall aim of the strategy is to create an environment in Scotland to promote the conditions for the highest quality of brain health and dementia research and the rapid implementation of research into practice.

The strategy recommends four key actions:

• Brain health and dementia research boards should be developed locally within NHS boards to pursue the local research agenda in relation to dementia and brain health. Representatives from these local boards should come together to form a national forum to provide strategic oversight.
• The national forum will provide a rapid research-review service to create a process that facilitates rapid translation of research into practice – we’ve learned from Covid 19 that it doesn’t have to take years to get research findings into practice, we can move quicker.
• A national scoping review should be undertaken to investigate the current situation regarding research careers in brain health and dementia in Scotland. This will identify bottlenecks and barriers that obstruct research careers in brain health and dementia at all levels. The findings of the review will help facilitate progression to more senior career levels.
• A national strategy oversight board will be established to take responsibility for monitoring and supporting implementation of the strategy across Scotland.

Irene Oldfather, Director of Strategic Partnerships and Engagement endorses this work by saying:

“It’s great to see the progress being made in producing Scotland’s first Brain Health and Dementia Research Strategy. If COVID-19 has demonstrated anything, it’s shown us the important role that science, research and development play in finding solutions and tackling disease.

This strategy extends those principles to Health Boards and ensures that for future generations the necessary actions to tackle dementia are put in place. Grateful thanks to the teams at Edinburgh and UWS. The ALLIANCE is pleased to support this futureproofing agenda.”

You can read the full strategy here.

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