It’s been an exciting few months for Join Dementia Research. Over 10,000 volunteers have now been placed in dementia studies, the NHS turned 70, and NICE guidelines recommend that everyone with dementia should be told about opportunities for research.

In our first guest blog, Simon Denegri OBE from the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) reflects on these amazing milestones.


Simon Denegri, OBE, NIHR National Director for Patients, Carers and the Public

Simon Denegri OBE
NIHR National Director for Patients, Carers and the Public


It’s a testament to the NHS and all those who work in it that the service has successfully adapted to meet changing demands and new challenges in the 70 years since it was established.

Dementia is an excellent example of a challenge that is now most firmly on society’s doorstep. Barely spoken about 30 years ago, today it affects 850,000 people, their loved-ones and families, communities and neighbourhoods.

Delivering better research is critical if our health and social care system is to stay on top of this challenge, developing treatments, improving the support we provide people, and working out ways in which it might be prevented in the future.

The NIHR is at the forefront of this endeavour: committing more funds than ever before and working closely with charity and industry sectors to maximise the impact of this investment.

But our most important partners are the thousands of volunteers who help us do research every day. Each year we pass important milestones that will increase your opportunities for greater involvement and engagement in research.

New NICE guidelines recommend telling people about research opportunities, and it’s wonderful that 10,000 Join Dementia Research volunteers have already joined research studies.

I was honoured to attend the recent NHS70 service of celebration in Westminster Abbey and delighted that it included a prayer of thanks to those responsible for research which has improved patient lives. Research will be how we answer all our prayers for a world without dementia.

Thank you to everyone who supports Join Dementia Research, whether by volunteering, conducting research or spreading the word.