Neurological care needs improving, say MPs

Neurological care needs improving, say MPs

A new report, compiled by a number of MPs, has said that health services for people with neurological conditions need improving.

It revealed that although there are more than four million people living with a neurological condition in England, only a small number of these have a care plan in place.

The Public Accounts Committee, which is made up of representatives from the House of Commons, highlighted a lack of coordination in local services and long delays in making diagnoses for conditions like Parkinson's disease in their report.

These, along with inconsistent hospital care, are key problems in delivering care services to people with neurological conditions.

The MPs of the Committee said the report should act as a 'wake-up call' and encourage care to be improved. They claimed that NHS England needs to find a way to limit the amount of variation by ensuring that everyone has a personalised care plan in place.

According to the report, the 650 consultant neurologists in England and large number of specialist nurses need to be better utilised to improve access to key services.

It recognised that some progress has been made since the last report was issued in 2012, but this has "not yet led to improvements in services and outcomes for patients".

Meg Hiller MP, chair of the Public Accounts Committee, said strong, consistent leadership and accountability is needed to allow patients to experience sustained improvements in care services, as well as making more effective use of the resources available.

She added: "This must start with improvements in planning, coordination and the use of data and we will be holding the department and NHS England to account for this in the months and indeed years ahead."

The report highlighted how variations in care are having a significant impact on patients. For example, nearly 90 per cent of those needing epilepsy care in south-west Lincolnshire were seizure free, while less than half of people in Hull experienced the same results.

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