It’s time to get it right for people with neurological conditions in England

People with neurological conditions in England are being let down by the very health and care systems that are supposed to be supporting them – that’s the finding of our new report Time to get it right, writes our Policy and Public Affairs Manager (England) Duncan Lugton.

A Sue Ryder The Chantry Neurological Care Centre resident painting

Despite the best intentions of the professionals working within them, health and social care systems aren’t set up to consistently deliver what people with neurological conditions in England need and deserve.

People with neurological conditions are often ‘invisible’ to these systems.

A clear majority of local authorities do not routinely record whether someone they provide services for has a neurological condition, and only a quarter of the bodies that commission health services were able to provide any data at all on the number of individuals with a neurological condition in their area.

Shocking findings

Our new report Time to get it right, which was published on Sunday 17th March, finds that services for people with neurological conditions are patchy and inconsistent, with some parts of the country doing much better than others. It also highlighted some really worrying practices.

Our research leads us to believe that there are more than 15,000 people with neurological conditions who have been placed in generalist older people’s nursing or care homes across England – places that are not able to provide the specialist support people need for neurological conditions, and that will, in many cases, be socially inappropriate.

We also found more than 500 people with neurological conditions being placed in residential placements far away from home, isolating them from friends and family.

So what can we do about it?

We can make things better. Wales have had a national plan to improve services for people with neurological conditions for several years, and in Scotland they have been working on a plan of their own. We need to do the same in England.

People having the support they need shouldn’t be too much to ask.

It’s time to see a concerted push to really deliver what people with neurological conditions deserve.

It’s time to get it right.

Sue Ryder Cuerden Hall Neurological Care Centre resident Danny Gallagher

Meet Danny, a resident at Sue Ryder Cuerden Hall Neurological Care Centre

"Dad was only 57 when he fell at work and suffered a catastrophic brain injury. He spent 15 months in hospital before being moved to a nursing home, but neither had the right rehabilitation facilities. As soon as we set foot inside Cuerden Hall, it felt like home. Every time we see Dad now, he is able to speak more clearly or can move in a way he couldn't before."

Author

Duncan Lugton

Policy and Public Affairs Manager (England)

Duncan Lugton