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"Patients face two year wait to see neurologists" - Lib Dems

8 January, 2001

A survey by the Liberal Democrats has reported that people with neurological disorders are having to wait up to 2 years for an appointment with a consultant and the majority of patients admitted as emergency cases are not seen by a specalist for at least 24 hours.

The report showed that only 20 per cent of hospitals had waiting times for out-patient appointments of less than 3 months and 44 per cent had average waits of 6 months.  The average waiting time was 5½ months, but the longest waiting time of all was 104 weeks, for an non-urgent appointment.

The Liberal Democrat's health spokesman, Paul Burstow, said the report showed a "huge lack of investment in neurologists.  The Government has failed to recognise the desperate plight of the three million people affected by neurological conditions.  Waiting times are unacceptably high and with only 350 neurologists across the country the situation is unlikely to improve".

A Department of Health spokesman said the waiting list for neurological treament had fallen from 3,673 in 1997 to 3.058 last year.