- Ten million Britons alive today can expect to reach 100, new figures reveal
- Ministers will inject more than £300 million into researching ageing population
- Business Secretary Greg Clark will pledge to help make the country’s scientists world leaders in understanding ageing
Ten million Britons alive today can expect to reach 100, Government figures reveal.
Ministers will inject more than £300million into researching old age in order to support the ageing population. They say we need to ‘revolutionise’ the way people get older – ensuring they remain healthy and independent for longer.
Unveiling the cash boost, Business Secretary Greg Clark will pledge to help make the country’s scientists world leaders in understanding ageing. The funding will support a research hub looking at dementia as well as a major project looking at the prevention and treatment of disease, involving more than 500,000 patients.
Figures show more than ten million people in the UK today can expect to see their 100th birthday, while there are just 15,000 centenarians at present. Under the plans set out by Mr Clark, a £210million competitive fund will be established to invest in the development of innovative diagnostic tools, medical products and treatments. It will include the creation of a series of regional centres across the UK to improve the diagnosis of patients using technologies such as artificial intelligence.
The fund will also invest in genome sequencing to develop tools for early diagnosis of illness and disease and a new wave of therapies. A further £98million will be invested in a healthy ageing programme to develop products and services to help people to live in their homes for longer.
In addition, £40million will go to the UK Dementia Research Institute, in partnership with University College London, to create a hub in which 350 leading scientists will research treatments for the condition. An estimated 850,000 people in the UK are living with the disease.
Mr Clark said: ‘Through our Industrial Strategy we will not only boost innovation and productivity across the UK, but we will also ensure that this Government changes people’s lives for the better.
‘We are over £300million into developing the treatments of the future, in new technologies that will revolutionise the way we age and provide everyone with the best possible chance to grow old with dignity in their own home. ‘By 2020 we want to be the best country in the world for dementia care and research.’
Care minister Caroline Dinenage added: ‘As a society we are living longer – a child born today can expect to live to 100 years – but now we must seize the opportunity to improve the quality of lives lived longer.
‘These investments will … provide a revolutionary vital boost to develop and scale up products and services of the future, ensuring everyone can age well and live more independently throughout their lives.’
The figures about our increased longevity come after it emerged last month that the number of women working in their 50s and 60s had hit a record high. The state pension age for men and women will rise to 66 by 2020, and Government actuaries believe it will reach 70 in the 2050s and 71 in the 2060s.