Marking a UK-first, health and care leaders from Greater Manchester have formed a “pioneering partnership” with the pharmaceutical industry that aims to boost the care and treatment of people with dementia.

The partnership - between Health Innovation Manchester, the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, and the Dementia Industry Group - will focus on finding the best care and treatment options for people with dementia, as well as identifying those at risk of developing the disease.

The plans also include exploring the development of new medications and ensuring that existing medicines are prescribed correctly, as well as how new technologies and digital innovations can improve quality of life.

It is estimated that there are currently more than 30,000 people living with dementia in Greater Manchester, and the city region spends £270 million a year treating and caring for people with the disease.

"With an ageing population and rising numbers of people being diagnosed with dementia, it is one of the greatest health challenges facing the country and Greater Manchester,” said Prof Ben Bridgewater, chief executive of Health Innovation Manchester.

“By combining our health and care resources with the pharma industry, we will have the best chance tackling dementia and preventing more people from developing the disease in the future.”

“Our understanding of the science behind dementia is evolving, pointing to new ways of detecting and treating dementia that might be able to change the course of the disease in the future. We are proud to be partnering with Health Innovation Manchester and the Greater Manchester network to maximise the impact of current and future medicines on the lives of patients and their families,” added Harry Brady, chair of the Dementia Industry Group and director, Policy and Communications, for pharmaceutical company MSD.