13th December 2010

Quality outcomes for people with a neurological condition

Health Minister Paul Burstow pledged to continue to work closely with the Neurological Alliance to improve services for people with neurological conditions, in particular through better integration of health and social care.

The Minister’s comments came as part of a reception at the House of Commons Monday evening, at which the Neurological Alliance made the case for improved health services for people with neurological conditions. Simon Gillespie, Trustee of the Neurological Alliance, outlined the current poor state of service delivery, and spoke of the gaps in service delivery for many neurological conditions. He called on the government to appoint a National Clinical Director to achieve more joined-up services for the 8 million people in England who are affected by a neurological condition.

The reception was attended by 35 MPs and Peers. They listened to the Alliance’s deep concerns that some neurological conditions will suffer under NHS reforms and that GPs will not have the expertise needed to commission such specialist services. The Alliance is seeking reassurance from the government that the more rare or complex neurological conditions will be commissioned by the NHS Commissioning Board.-

10 MPs and Peers signed a statement, which will be sent to the Secretary of State for Health Andrew Lansley, which asks the Minister for:

  • quality neurological services for all people affected by neurological conditions;
  • people affected by neurological conditions to be empowered and become active participants in their care.

Tom Isaacs, who lives with Parkinson’s, said: “it is essential that specialist services are available for those affected [with a neurological condition]. Unlike other illness sectors, neurological conditions have little symmetry and there is a need for personalised treatment and care.

“Furthermore, most neurological conditions are associated with numerous symptoms and medication side-effects. Primary care is neither equipped nor sufficiently informed to provide adequate services in these circumstances. Neurological care suffers terribly from a lack of expertise and knowledge of its complexities and all too often quality of life is severely compromised due to a lack of specialist resource.”

Notes to editor

For more information please contact Tahani Saridar on 020 7584 6457 or tahani.saridar@neural.org.uk.

The Neurological Alliance is the collective voice of 70 brain and spine charities in England. Our vision is that every person diagnosed with a neurological condition will have access to high-quality, joined-up services and good information from their first symptoms, throughout their life.

The objectives of the Neurological Alliance are to:

  1. Drive forward neurological standards across England;
  2. Increase understanding of neurological conditions and of the lives of people living with neurological conditions;
  3. Speak for the neurological community with an authoritative voice.

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