A ground-breaking national dementia hotline has been launched in the UK today to encourage public participation in clinical research into the condition.

Join Dementia Research was established as a kind of ‘match-making’ platform that enables people - either with and without the illness - to register their interest in studies, and then links these volunteers with researchers to help find the right participants at the right time.

Less than 5% of dementia patients currently take part in clinical studies and while findings from a recent national poll show that 62% of the general public would be willing to participayr, 81% don’t know how to volunteer, and this is something that Join Dementia Research is designed to overcome.

Sue Boex, one of the carers who helped design Join Dementia Research, says she hopes that 100,000 people will join the service in the first year, noting: “it’s an ambitious target, but dementia is a massive problem and we’re ambitious to help make a difference through research”.

A collaboration between the National Institute for Health Research, Alzheimer’s Research UK, Alzheimer’s Society, Alzheimer Scotland and UCL Partners, the initiative has been developed as part of the Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia, and is being funded by the Department of Health and NHS England through the SBRI Healthcare Programme.