Overall mortality rates are improving but for neurology, things are getting worse

Today (Wednesday 28 Feburary 2018) sees the release of important new research into mortality and neurological conditions by Public Health England, Deaths associated with neurological conditions in England 2001 to 2014.[1] 

This research looked at the numbers of deaths where a neurological condition was recorded on the death certificate, and used this as a way to examine trends in mortality. 

The new report found that mortality rates for neurological conditions have been increasing in recent years, in contrast to the trend for deaths in general. 

In 2001, 23,051 people died with a mention of a neurological condition on their death certificate and by 2014, this had increased to 31,925 - an increase of 39%. In contrast, deaths from all causes fell by 6% over the same time period. 

Are people with neurological conditions being left behind?

When it comes to improvements in mortality, this research suggests that people with neurological conditions are being left behind. Unfortunately, the bleak picture painted by this research matches up with what we have heard from other reports: people with neurological conditions report some of the worst outcomes among all long term conditions, [2] face serious challenges accessing support, [3] have to deal with services that “are not consistently good enough, [4] and are being supported by a health system that is not sufficiently prioritising neurological conditions.[5] 

These findings should act as a wake-up call for the health system to do better for people with neurological conditions. 


  1. Public Health England (2018), Deaths associated with neurological conditions in England 2001 to 2014 
  2. GP Patient Survey, July 2017 data 
  3. Neurological Alliance (2017), Falling short: How has neurology patient experience changed since 2014? 
  4. Public Accounts Committee (2016), Services to people with neurological conditions: progress review (2016) 
  5. Neurological Alliance and Sue Ryder, (2017) Going the Distance 2: National calls to action to improve neurology services in England 

Our campaign work

Our national Policy and Campaigns Team works with and for the people we support, and other people affected, to ensure their voices are heard and that they have access to the care and support that they want and need. 

Find out more about our campaigns

Duncan Lugton

Policy and Public Affairs Manager (England)

Duncan Lugton