Neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease and epilepsy, result from damage to the brain, spinal column or peripheral nerves. Some neurological conditions are life-threatening, with many severely affecting people’s quality of life and causing lifelong disability. The most recent estimate, by the Neurological Alliance, indicates that there are 4.7 million neurological cases in England. The NHS spent £3.3 billion on neurological services in 2012–13, representing 3.5% of total spending, up from 3.1% in 2010–11. Hospital activity involving patients with neurological conditions have increased in recent years, although the rate of growth has slowed. There are no specific data on spending on social care for people with neurological conditions or on the number of people with neurological conditions receiving social care services. However, on the basis of the more general data that are available, both spending and activity can be assumed to have fallen significantly since 2009–10.
The previous Committee of Public Accounts reported on services for people with neurological conditions in March 2012, making six recommendations aimed at improving services and achieving better outcomes. In its report in July 2015, the National Audit Office found that the Department and NHS England had made ‘good’ progress against just one of the six recommendations, with progress against a further three assessed as ‘poor’, and the remaining two as ‘moderate’.
Prepared 18 February 2016