Over 4 million people in England have a neurological condition. Services for people with these conditions are not consistently good enough, and there remains wide variation across the country in access, outcomes and patient experience. As well as affecting patients, poor care has implications for the NHS; for example, it costs £70 million to deal with emergency admissions of epilepsy patients and many of these admissions are likely to result from shortcomings in care. Neurological services remain poorly integrated with a lack of joint commissioning of health and social care. Over 40% of people with a neurological condition do not think that local services work well together, and only 12% of people have a written care plan to help coordinate their care.
There has been some progress in implementing the recommendations that the previous Committee made in 2012, including the appointment of a national clinical director for adult neurology and some improvements in data. However, these changes have not yet led to demonstrable improvements in services and outcomes for patients. It is clear that neurological conditions are not a priority for the Department of Health (the Department) and NHS England, and we are concerned that the progress that has been made may not be sustained. We therefore intend to review the position again later in this Parliament.
Prepared 18 February 2016