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New report calls for neurology care to be delivered closer to home

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Today, the Thames Valley Strategic Clinical Network launches a new report calling for improvements in neurological services provided in the community.

The report slams the current provision of care for people with long-term neurological conditions, describing it as unsatisfactory from all perspectives, including those of patients, carers and commissioners (the people who plan and buy services). It draws a picture of care that is centred around institutions rather than patients, and cautions that this lack of integrated care results in delayed access to expert advice, particularly in times of crisis.

The report makes the case for new models of care organised around the patient and delivered closer to their homes by integrated, multi-specialist teams in a community setting. It sets out evidence showing that investing delivering more proactive, co-ordinated community services could enable people with long-term neurological conditions to access the care they need when they need it, while improving outcomes and avoiding unnecessary hospitalisation for patients. It goes on to provide practical advice and guidance to the NHS on how to implement this model. Professor Dawn Langdon, Trustee of the MS Trust, is one of the authors of the report.

Amanda Croft, Policy Officer at the MS Trust, said:

Today’s report highlights many of the same concerns that the MS Trust has identified through our work with MS teams around the country. Services for people with MS are variable, and some people with MS do not have access to the specialist nurses and therapists they need. This is of particular concern to people with progressive MS, who see their MS team less often and may even be discharged from their MS service altogether. Our current MS Forward View project is exploring how MS care can be delivered differently to ensure that everyone with MS receives the care they need and no less. We fully support the aim of this report to stimulate the delivery of new models of care which are organised around the person receiving care rather than the institutions delivering care. It is essential reading for every clinician and commissioner working in neurological services.”

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