Questioned by Monica Lennon MSP at First Minister’s Questions last week, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon pledged to “take forward” all five of the recommendations contained in our latest Rewrite the Future report into neurological care in Scotland. You can watch for yourself (17 minutes in) or read the transcript.
I have been reflecting on what a significant commitment this means. We should now see progress on a number of key issues:
- collection of meaningful data on people with neurological conditions so that care and support can be designed to meet their needs
- an audit of health and social care services for people with neurological conditions to identify what works well and where the gaps are – and then fill those gaps
- strategic commissioning guidance on specialist neurological care for use by health and social care partnerships
- specialist support and advice for generalist care providers so they can better meet the needs of people with neurological conditions
- the new standards for neurological services to be backed up by a rigorous inspection regime to make sure they are being followed.
With a renewed focus and action plan by the Scottish Government’s National Advisory Committee on Neurological Conditions, care for people with neurological conditions is moving up the political and health and social care agendas. Coupled with the First Minister’s commitment to our recommendations, there’s now a chance we’ll see real change so that people with neurological conditions no longer feel written off by the system.
Watch this space.
Policy and Public Affairs Manager (Scotland)