Let's change neurological care in Scotland

Nicola Sturgeon at a Sue Ryder event

On 14 September, during First Minister's questions in the Scottish Parliament, Nicola Sturgeon pledged to work with us to ‘take forward’ the recommendations to improve neurological care, detailed in our Rewrite the Future report, released on the same day.

Background

We want everyone with a neurological condition in Scotland to receive incredible care. Yet in reality, the care provided across Scotland is often patchy, uncoordinated and difficult to find: it is enough to make people with neurological conditions feel like they have been written off. 

The Scottish Government listened to us when we published our first report into neurological care last year: it is now working with the NHS to find out how many people in Scotland have neurological conditions and where they live, so that our NHS and local authorities can then provide them with the care and support they need. Not only that, the clinical standards that govern the provision of health care for people with neurological conditions are now going to be updated and rewritten to include social care. 

A lot of work to be done

This time round, our Rewrite the Future report for 2017 shows that there is still a lot of work to be done on the ground to improve care for people with neurological conditions. Nine of our fourteen health boards have no neurological services plan. Six of these health boards do not intend to come up with a plan. Care homes are very unlikely to receive any specialist neurological support – so if you have a neurological condition and are in an older people’s care home, you are unlikely to get any much-needed specialist care. If you are under 65 and have a neurological condition, there’s a 50% chance you will have to pay for personal care. 

We welcome the news that the First Minister has pledged to work with us at Sue Ryder to ‘take forward’ these recommendations.