Thank you for contacting me about extra support for charity funded research groups in the upcoming Comprehensive Spending Review. I have read your email carefully and have noted the key points that you make.
During these incredibly difficult times the work of charities is more important than ever. I was reassured to learn that Ministers in BEIS have met with the Association of Medical Research Charities to address these issues and try to alleviate the potential challenges to research charities such as the British Heart Foundation.
I know that the Department of Health and Social Care is working very closely with the AMRC, as well as individual charities, to understand the impact of the pandemic on the sector, and how the Government and charities can work together to ensure that patients continue benefiting from charity funded research. Medical research charities are an integral part of the United Kingdom’s world-leading life sciences sector, and I support the work ongoing between the Government and AMRC.
Moreover, as you may know, the Chancellor has made available £750 million worth of funding for charities to enable them to continue providing essential services to those most in need. As part of this funding package, £22 million has been specifically awarded to help lifesaving health charities.
I also welcome the goals set out in the NHS Long Term Plan which seek to target alleviating heart and circulatory diseases. These include preventing up to 150,000 heart attacks, strokes, and dementia cases over the next 10 years, working with partners to improve community first response and build defibrillator networks to improve survival from out of hospital cardiac arrest, as well as working to ensure up to 85 per cent of those eligible are accessing cardiac rehabilitation care by 2028, which is among the best in Europe. I believe the work the British Heart Foundation is doing, including raising awareness and investing in research, is key to the combined effort to save lives from CVD.
I have spoken with colleagues at HM Treasury about your suggestions for the Comprehensive Spending Review taking place this year. The Integrated Review and Comprehensive Spending Reviews will conclude in the autumn, although I am regrettably not in a position to pre-empt their conclusions. I am, however, assured by my ministerial colleagues that they are aware of the policy suggestions you have raised.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me about this important issue.
With best wishes.
Jonathan Lord MP
Member of Parliament for Woking