The Actuarial Profession, Staple Inn Hall, High Holborn, London, WC1V 7QJ, 16:00, 01 March 2011

Kindly supported by Pfizer

The costs associated with dementia now total one per cent of global GDP, at a worldwide cost of £388bn. With an ageing population the costs are set to soar further, based only on predicted increases in the number of people with dementia, by 2030 we could see an estimated 85% increase in costs (World Alzheimer Report, 2010). This growth will put additional pressures on public finances whilst also increasing demand for formal and informal care.

Indeed dementia has been described as the most significant health and social care crisis of the 21st century and how respective governments respond will be crucial in light of the burgeoning figures. All countries will need to prioritise spending on dementia and yet at the same time reconcile need, want and value for the public purse in the coming years. Certain policy interventions on dementia could reap rewards of their own, particularly with regard to early diagnosis, prevention and investment in research and development.

The aim of the event was to discuss this critical agenda and bring together politicians, policy-makers, voluntary organisations, the private sector and academics. We hoped to explore and examine the ‘real cost’ of dementia and develop recommendations for future policy interventions.

During this event we:

  • set the scene and look at the prevalence, incidence, mortality rate and disability burden of dementia at the UK and global level;
  • explored the direct and indirect cost of dementia to the public purse, today and tomorrow;
  • explored the impact of dementia on the financial services industry; and
  • explored cost effective policy interventions and the cost of inaction (early diagnosis, prevention/dementia research).

Agenda from the event:

16.00 - 16.30
Registration and refreshments.
16.30 - 16.35
Welcome by the Actuarial Profession co - chair
Introduction by co - chair Baroness Sally Greengross, Chief Executive, ILC-UK and chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Dementia
Presentations by:

  • Professor Alistair Burns, National Clinical Director for Dementia, Department of Health and Professor of Old Age Psychiatry at the University of Manchester.
  • Dr Ramon Luengo-Fernandez, Senior Researcher, Health Economics Research Centre, Department of Public Health, University of Oxford.
  • Jeremy Hughes, Chief Executive, Alzheimer's Society.
  • Emily Holzhausen, Director of Policy and Public Affairs, Carers UK.

18.25 - 18.30
Close followed by a drinks reception.

Below are a series of short interviews with some of the speakers recorded at this debate.