Heart research is in need of more support

Week in and week out, charities and campaigns present their work to MPs at events in Parliament, and much of it is very inspiring.

Last week, I met scientists and heart patients who highlighted the sterling work of the British Heart Foundation (BHF)

Heart disease is a devastating condition that affects thousands across North Tyneside. About seven million people nationwide are living with heart and circulatory disease.

But with the public’s support, charities like the BHF can fund some of the world’s leading researchers, who work tirelessly to find the next breakthrough that could help save more lives.

If we are to continue making great strides in heart research, both the public and government need to support our brightest scientists.

Charities are doing great work in trying to prevent premature death and wrecked lives. The BHF spends around £100m a year on world class research.

Charities are the biggest funders of life sciences research in our universities and every year the government contributes £198m towards their indirect costs, but this does not cover all the costs of undertaking life saving research.

The government’s science budget is protected from cuts to expenditure, but only until April 2016. Any cut to science spending would jeopardise future and current research that could help save lives.

I agree with the BHF that the government should maintain the current ring-fencing of the science budget and, much better still, commit to future increases.

Charities and government should share the burden and I will urge ministers to do the right thing for all our sakes.