People with neurological conditions are facing long waiting times, poor access to specialists and a lack of personalised care.
That’s according to a new report published by The Neurological Alliance, based from a survey of more than 10,000 people with neurological conditions.
The report, Neuro Patience, covered three main healthcare themes: accessible, personalised and well-rounded care and support, and is run every two years.
The report found that:
- 39% of people reported seeing a GP 5 or more times before being referred to a neurologist.
- Following a referral, 1 in 3 patients waited more than 12 months for their appointment.
- 55% of respondents said they had experienced delays in accessing healthcare.
- 34% do not believe they see a specialist often enough to meet their needs.
- 43% of people were not given written information when they were told they had a neurological condition.
- 30% did not feel involved in making choices about their healthcare.
- 40% of respondents reported their mental health needs were not being met at all.
The report also highlighted failings in the social care and welfare system, as well as discrimination in the workplace for people with neurological conditions.
Sarah Vibert, chief executive of The Neurological Alliance, said: “The survey results are shocking. People with neurological conditions are being forgotten and they are running out of patience. Our survey shows that people with neurological conditions have not been prioritised by our health and social care system and as a result little has changed over the last 6 years.”
The report has recommended that a national neurology plan for England should be urgently developed to address these shortcomings.
It stated that neurology should be prioritised for mental health improvement initiatives aimed at people with long-term conditions.