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Young people with MS being cared for in older people’s care homes

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Hospice and neurological rehabilitation charity Sue Ryder estimates that a lack of dedicated neurological care and rehabilitation services in Scotland means that up to 1,000 people are being cared for in inappropriate settings.

This includes hundreds of young people with neurological conditions who are being cared for in older people’s care homes because there is nowhere else for them to go.

The charity made a Freedom of Information request to every local authority and health board in Scotland. The results showed that only a third of local authorities know how many people have been inappropriately placed in older people’s care homes. Those who were able to supply figures said that 63 people under the age of 65, and a further 182 people aged over 65, were being cared for in this way. If these figures were replicated across all of Scotland’s health boards it could mean up to 1,000 people missing out on the full range of physical and emotional health and social care services they need to live as full a life as possible.

Amanda Croft, Policy Officer at the MS Trust commented:

“The plain truth is that neurology services are not a priority in Scotland or elsewhere in the UK, a fact highlighted by the Public Accounts Committee in last week’s damning report on the state of services for people with neurological conditions. It is wholly inappropriate that young people with MS are being cared for in older people’s homes. These centres cannot provide the specialist neurological treatment, support and rehabilitation that someone with MS would receive in a specialist centre. But they are also simply the wrong environment for a younger person dealing with the disabling impact MS can have on their life.

Through our MS Forward View project we are working to ensure that everyone affected by MS can access the best possible care. As part of that work, we are mapping neurological rehabilitation services, neurology consultants and MS specialist nurses to build a fuller picture of the services and specialists available to people with MS.”

Find out more about Sue Ryder’s investigation and campaign here.

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