Vaccine Taskforce type strategy to deal with psychological well being challenges

The UK Authorities has introduced a brand new ‘Vaccine Taskforce type strategy’ to deal with a spread of well being challenges, together with psychological well being.

The federal government has in the present day introduced over £113 million to fund analysis into 4 healthcare missions – most cancers, weight problems, psychological well being and dependancy – to unlock the following technology of medicines and diagnostics to avoid wasting lives, rework affected person care and guarantee UK sufferers are the primary to learn from medical breakthroughs.

The psychological well being mission will obtain over £40 million in funding for psychological well being analysis, significantly into using digital applied sciences as interventions for psychological sicknesses.

MQ’s CEO Lea Milligan has been concerned within the planning of the psychological well being mission, and MQ is a key stakeholder within the mission.

“This new funding into a few of the international locations biggest well being challenges is exactly what’s wanted to make sure essentially the most susceptible in society are supported. My hope is that this focused funding into Psychological Well being Analysis places the voice of individuals with lived expertise of psychological well being on the core, catalyses partnership with new industries and applied sciences and finally will get new proof led interventions into the fingers of the frontline providers and NHS workers. I’m deeply inspired by the work OLS has carried out to hearken to individuals from throughout the spectrum of psychological well being analysis and the general public; responding with a targeted and well timed funding to remodel the way forward for psychological well being via analysis.”

Lea Milligan, CEO of MQ Psychological Well being Analysis


Constructing on the Vaccine Taskforce mannequin the federal government will proceed to harness world-leading analysis experience, take away pointless paperwork, strengthen partnerships and help the brand new healthcare challenges.

As well as, tackling these healthcare challenges might save the NHS and the economic system billions of kilos – it’s estimated poor psychological well being prices the economic system £118 billion a 12 months.

The Prime Minister, Well being and Social Care Secretary and Enterprise Secretary will in the present day meet with key business figures, together with international CEOs, NHS leaders and business consultants on the Life Sciences Council to debate how their help will ship life-changing improvements to sufferers, enhance NHS effectivity and make sure the UK stays a worldwide life sciences superpower.

The Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, stated:

“The NHS faces actual pressures, which is why we’re investing over £100 million within the applied sciences and medicines of the longer term to deal with a few of the greatest public well being challenges going through our nation.

This funding will enhance outcomes for sufferers, ease present pressures on the system and be sure that we’re among the many first to learn from medical breakthroughs. Importantly it can additionally assist save the NHS thousands and thousands of kilos that might in any other case be spent on affected person care – for instance by tackling weight problems which prices the well being service over £6 billion yearly.

It’s vastly welcome too that the extremely profitable Vaccine Taskforce, which procured thousands and thousands of life-saving vaccines in document time throughout the pandemic, will now develop into a blueprint for the way we harness the most effective expertise and experience from world wide and drive funding in analysis and growth.”


The analysis will concentrate on the highest public well being priorities, as recognized by the NHS:

  • psychological well being: £40.2 million for analysis into psychological well being to develop and introduce digital applied sciences to help sufferers. This might embrace expertise permitting sufferers to watch their psychological well being at house and immediately report back to their physician if in want of assist. Funding can be spent within the Midlands and the North to bolster providers and guarantee individuals throughout the UK can entry help, serving to stage up well being throughout the nation. With one in 4 adults experiencing psychological sickness, poor psychological well being prices the economic system £118 billion a 12 months
  • most cancers: £22.5 million will go into most cancers analysis to develop new immune-based most cancers therapies, together with most cancers vaccines, that are focused to a affected person’s particular most cancers. Funding may also help the event of applied sciences that allow earlier, simpler most cancers analysis. This can help progress in the direction of the NHS Lengthy Time period Plan ambition to diagnose three-quarters of cancers at phases 1 or 2 by 2028
  • weight problems: £20 million to trial how finest to ship new medicines and applied sciences for individuals dwelling with weight problems, significantly in disadvantaged communities throughout the UK. This can assist new medicines coming to market  – a few of which have the potential to scale back an individual’s weight by greater than 20% – to raised help individuals to realize a wholesome weight. The mission will discover how these medicines could be mixed with cutting-edge applied sciences and digital instruments to enhance long-term well being outcomes. Weight problems prices the NHS £6.1 billion a 12 months and serving to individuals shed extra pounds and lead more healthy existence might result in important financial savings
  • dependancy: £30.5 million, together with funds contributed via collaboration with Scottish Authorities, can be deployed to speed up the event of latest applied sciences to stop deaths from overdoses throughout the UK. This might embrace wearable units which may detect the onset of a drug overdose and sign to first responders to stop deaths, and higher help individuals with substance use issues to handle and fight their dependancy. Funding may also assist develop analysis capability and functionality throughout the UK to raised perceive dependancy and the simplest methods to deal with it as a continual healthcare situation

“The OLS funding into the Psychological Well being Mission is doubtlessly game-changing. Bringing progressive, evidence-based applied sciences to bear on the challenges confronted by individuals with psychological ill-health requires important and complex analysis infrastructure and robust partnerships between business, universities and the NHS. Whereas these already exist in pockets across the UK, the size of the Mission and its autonomy will speed up progress in an space the place the necessity is on a worldwide scale.”

Professor Peter Jones, Professor of Psychiatry, Cambridge College and Chair of MQ’s Science Council


Consistent with the Vaccines Taskforce, the 4 healthcare missions can be led by an unbiased chair – an skilled in that area – to speed up the event and introduction of the most recent remedies and expertise into the NHS, in addition to drive collaboration throughout companions. This is not going to solely guarantee higher look after sufferers, but additionally enhance the accuracy of analysis and liberate clinician time, serving to deal with the COVID-19 backlog and ease stress on well being providers.

“This options targeted strategy from the OLS may be very encouraging. Traditionally solely 3.9% of psychological well being analysis funding has been targeted on preventions so I’m more than happy that the psychological well being mission can be specializing in utilizing expertise to stop signs in addition to discovering progressive new remedies to remodel lives.”

Dr. Shahzad Malik, Chair of MQ Psychological Well being Analysis and Basic Accomplice, Introduction Life Sciences


This announcement has not solely been welcomed by analysis charities, together with MQ, but additionally the many individuals who’ve been impacted by psychological sickness who’re annoyed by a lack of funding within the space.

“The brand new Psychological Well being Mission may be very thrilling. What we want now, greater than ever earlier than, is options for the 1 in 4 of us who’re impacted by psychological sickness. I’m actually happy to see a concentrate on kids and younger peoples psychological well being and on how we will use expertise to handle and stop signs. It looks like we’re edging ever nearer into the golden age of psychological well being analysis and I’m excited to see what this new initiative can deliver.”

Asha Iqbal, Psychological well being Campaigner and founding father of Era Reform.




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