The National Audit Office published its report into “Services for people with neurological conditions” just before Christmas.
The study focussed on 3 neurological conditions (Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and motor neurone disease). However, the study found, through literature reviews and focus groups with charities, patients and carers, that there were similar issues for people with other neurological conditions.
In 2005 the National Service Framework for Long-term Conditions introduced by the Department of Health focused on people with neurological conditions. At that time it noted a range of problems faced by people with neurological conditions and a series of requirements were put in place to improve the service. Since then spending on neurological services has increased but none the less, the study found that progress in implementing the Framework has been poor and significant problems with current services remain.
The study concluded:
“In summary, our report notes a range of systemic issues limiting service improvements for people with neurological conditions including
- poor data on prevalence of neurological conditions;
- poor information for patients and carers about services;
- poor knowledge of neurological conditions among health
- performance measures that create cycles of referral–discharge–referral;
- little integration between health and social services;
- and skilled workforce shortages.”