I entirely agree that research is crucial to understanding and tackling dementia, and I was glad to stand on a manifesto that identified finding a cure for dementia as one of the Government's biggest collective priorities. I look forward to the forthcoming publication of the dementia strategy, which will focus on the specific health and care needs of people living with dementia and their carers, including dementia diagnosis and research.
The 2021 Spending Review saw £5 billion committed to health-related research and development and I understand that encouraging work is ongoing to finalise outcomes from the review and to identify ways to boost research on dementia significantly. I was delighted by the Government's announcement in November of a £375 million investment, over the next five years, to improve understanding and treatment for a range of neurodegenerative diseases, including different types of dementia.
Due to the impact of the pandemic, the estimated dementia diagnosis rate fell below the national target for the first time since 2016. While the rate has recovered slightly since the early part of the pandemic, there is more to do if we are to reach the national target for two thirds of people with dementia to be formally diagnosed. Last year, £17 million was made available to clinical commissioning groups to address dementia waiting lists and increase the number of diagnoses, which I hope will have an impact in our local area.