Neurology Timebomb to hit NHS soon

Increase in number of people with conditions like Parkinson’s and motor neuron disease (MND) has made NHS prone to “neurology timebomb”. According to recent reports from Parkinson’s UK the figure is going by 28% till 2020. Presently there are around 127,000 people with Parkinson’s disease including actor Michael J Fox and boxing legend Muhammad Ali, however it is expected that there will be 162,000 people suffering from Parkinson’s by 2020. The figure for MND is also expected to rise by 27% in the same course of time. Presently every week on an average 50 people are diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

The Neurological Alliance that represents over 70 organizations and charities said that NHS unawares will soon be facing neurology timebomb if emergent action is not taken soon. It also said that government is not taking much interest in this regard. The alliance also urged that services have no definite order to be run and also there exists no apparent strategy, and billions of pounds of taxpayer’s money is being wasted.
Neurology timebomb

According to a December report from national Audit Office NAO, in spite of huge financial aid from government, number of emergency cases of people with neurological conditions has increased to about one third. The study also suggests that although access to services has greatly been improved and waiting time has reduced still there are some important areas that have got worse.

In 2009-10, 14 percent of the people with Parkinson’s disease, MND and multiple sclerosis who were discharged from the hospital were readmitted as an emergency in the hospital just after overnight stay. It is seen that people admitted as an emergency are usually treated with doctors and nurses who do not have hands on neurology thereby supporting the condition of patents turning worse. Additionally the report said that there is a delay in diagnosis and treatment.

Steve Ford, chairperson of the Neurological Alliance and chief executive of Parkinson’s UK said that the situation is likely to turn worse. When there is no support from government, there’s a need of a leader to champion improvements with a plan and a strategy. He added, it’s high time that Department of Health should take concrete measures. It’s not about spending more money rather it needs good value and quality service.

Mr. Ford will provide Common Public Accounts Committee with evidence in light of the NAO report. The chief executive of MS society, Simon Gillespie said that the government should deliver message to those with neurological condition that these services are their priority.

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