26th June 2012

Making the case for neurology networks

Today, we publish Thinking Ahead: the case for a Strategic Clinical Network for Neurology. Produced in collaboration with Neurological Commissioning Support, this report presents the case for a Strategic Clinical Network (SCN) for neurology ahead of the NHS Commissioning Board’s announcement, due in the coming weeks, on which areas these four to six England SCNs will cover.

About Strategic Clinical Networks

SCNs are being developed in response to the NHS Future Forum’s June 2011 summary report on the NHS reform programme, in which it promoted the extended use of multi-professional clinical networks. SCNs, which will be funded and administered by the NHS, are intended to bring together primary, secondary and tertiary care clinicians alongside partners from social care, the third sector and patients to define and advise commissioners on evidence based best practice pathways.

Clinical neurosciences networks were championed in the National Service Framework for Long Term Conditions and SCNs represent a crucial opportunity to realise this aspiration under the new health and social care arrangements.

About the report

An SCN for neurology has been one of the principle calls of the Alliance’s ‘Better deal for neurology’ campaign since its launch in January 2012. In order to promote its achievement, Thinking Ahead was commissioned to explore the case for an SCN for neurology against the seven SCN criteria defined by the NHS Commissioning Board in February 2012.

Drawing on the experience and expertise of over 30 senior stakeholders from the neurological community, this report illustrates the transformative role an SCN could play in improving outcomes across the neurological spectrum and in addressing the key challenges facing neurology, including unacceptable variations in care, the lack of knowledge and consequent neglect of neurological conditions, and the poor coordination of care.

Arlene Wilkie, Chief Executive of the Neurological Alliance, said:

“With neurological spending having risen by 174% between 2005 and 2010-11 without delivering corresponding improvements in neurological outcomes, an SCN for neurology would provide a vehicle through which to both to reverse this worrying trend and drive forward service improvements, delivering better outcomes and better value for money.”

Download Thinking Ahead.

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