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A new manifesto for neurology services in England

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The Neurological Alliance, the coalition of 80 organisations working for people with neurological conditions, including the MS Trust, has published a manifesto for neurology services in England. 

The MS Trust supports this manifesto, particularly the call for access to specialist care. Making this a reality for people living with MS is at the heart of our specialist nurse funding programme, which will bring new MS specialist nurses to several sites across the UK in the next year.

They are calling on all parliamentary candidates to help us address key issues for the millions of people with neurological conditions in England:

1. Access to specialist care must be:

  • a reality for all people with neurological conditions, from diagnosis to the end of life 
  • available across all care settings - in the home, in the community and in hospital

2. Primary care professionals must:

  • provide a timely referral or diagnosis for people with neurological conditions 
  • sign-post patients to condition-specific information where appropriate
  • be aware of key signs and symptoms indicating a neurological condition 
  • be supported with adequate medical school and on-the-job training regarding neurological conditions

3. Research into new and better treatments for neurological conditions must:

  • receive ring-fenced UK Government investment and leadership to match the burden and full spectrum of neurological conditions 
  • be encouraged as part of an environment that promotes clinical trials in the UK

4. Decisions around treatments for people with rare and complex condition must:

  • be taken in consultation with patients, their carers and voluntary sector groups
  • not result in restrictions or rationing based on cost alone 
  • be considered by Parliament before being implemented - any decisions to restrict the availability of NICE-approved treatments should be taken by democratically-elected politicians

5. Mental health needs of those with neurological conditions must:

  • be given particular consideration in the design and delivery of services
  • be prioritised as part of the focus on parity of esteem for people with long term conditions