5th July 2017

Parity of esteem for people affected by neurological conditions - new report from the Neurological Alliance

The likelihood of having a comorbid mental health condition is higher for neurology patients than for the long-term conditions patient population overall. Yet the emotional, cognitive and mental health needs of neurology patients have tended to be invisible, even within policy on neurological conditions. The impact of this is reflected in the Alliance’s 2016 patient experience survey, which revealed that just 19% of patients described services to meet their mental health needs as ‘good’ or ‘excellent’, against 45% describing services to meet their physical health needs as ‘good’ or ‘excellent’.

Today the Neurological Alliance publishes a report – Parity of esteem for people affected by neurological conditions: meeting the emotional, cognitive & mental health needs of neurology patients – presenting new research examining the services currently available. The report details care that is characterised by disjointed patient pathways, a lack of coordination and patchy access to specialist neurological mental health services.

In this new report, the Alliance – along with the British Psychological Society’s Division of Neuropsychology and a number of our members – gather together patient stories from those living with a neurological condition alongside emotional, cognitive or mental health needs and examines the impact of poor care on the individuals concerned, their families and carers and the wider impact on the NHS and the resources available. Parity of esteem for people affected by neurological conditions also finds that local mental health services are often reluctant to accept neurology patients – where patients are accepted, services are often unsuitable to meet the distinct needs of neurology patients.

The report also outlines practical recommendations to improve services and outcomes for those affected by neurological conditions.

If your organisation would like to discuss the recommendations in this new report, please feel free to get in touch.