Pamela MacKenzie, Director of Neurological Services at Sue Ryder, said:
"The findings of the new patient survey released today (Tuesday, 14 March) present a damning picture on of the state of neurological services in England. It shows that services are deteriorating and greater investment in neurological services is needed so people can get the help and support they need and deserve.
"It is unacceptable that, following on from the previous report, people with neurological conditions feel less involved in decision making and less confident in the ability of health and care professionals to work well together.
"Greater patient involvement and integration of health and social care is supposed to be a priority for the Sustainability and Transformation Plans currently overhauling the NHS. Greater attention and resources must be given, if people with neurological conditions are to avoid being neglected.
"It is crucial that the new National Neurological Advisory Group takes these findings on board and uses them to inform its plans for improving neurology in England.”
Further information on the report:
The Neurological Alliance, which is the collective voice for 80 organisations that work with neurological conditions and that includes Sue Ryder, has produced a report alongside these findings, both of which are available on their website. Four key areas for improvement have been recommended:
- Addressing delays in diagnosis
- Improving access to information, care planning and coordination of care
- Local engagement and prioritisation
- A long term commitment to improvement
Specifically, the results show:
- 42% (up from 31.5%) of patients saw their GP five or more times before seeing a neurological specialist, a 10 percentage points increase on those saying so in 2014.
- 63% (down from 71%) of patients feel involved in making choices about health services to at least some extent, an 8pp decrease on those saying so in 2014.
- 6% (down from 67%) of patients feel their health and care professionals work well together at least some of the time, an 11pp decrease on those saying so in 2014.
A fifth key area – investigating the impact of mental health on people with neurological conditions – is currently being worked into a separate report to be released later this year.
Notes to Editors
For further information, please contact:
Paul Martin National