Neurology services were neglected long before the pandemic. And people with MS weren’t getting the vital support they needed. Now the situation is critical.
Despite 1 in 6 people in the UK living with a neurological condition, neurology services are stretched, underfunded and overlooked. These services were neglected long before the pandemic – this can’t continue.
Joining together with the Neurological Alliance #BackThe1in6
Together with the Neurological Alliance, we’re calling on UK governments to back the 1 in 6, and establish a Neuro Taskforce. We want this task force to urgently address problems with workforce and services, so people get the vital support they need.
A new report from the Neurological Alliance shows that over two thirds (67%) of people with a neurological condition aren’t getting the mental well-being support they need.
Their survey also found that people are experiencing delays to life-changing treatment and care, with hundreds of thousands of people waiting for neurology and neurosurgery appointments. People also aren’t receiving the right information and support when being diagnosed with a neurological condition.
Last year, we launched our Neurology Now campaign to call for better access to MS and neurology services. We called for a National Clinical Director for Neurology to be appointed to NHS England – and in May 2022, the UK Government announced that this is happening. However, the UK Government still needs to do much more.
Our 2021 campaign
Our report showed the pandemic has put extra strain on already stretched services. The UK Government must do more to protect people with MS from long term progression of their condition by providing additional funding and support. And the neurology workforce must be supported to provide the care that’s needed.
Our research shows:
- Nearly a third (29%) of people living with MS had appointments cancelled or delayed during the pandemic
- 63% of MS professionals find it very challenging to provide a good service to everyone
- People’s MS symptoms got worse during the pandemic, with over half (53%) saying this was caused by not getting specialist support
- Almost half (45%) of neurology professionals said they’ve had to compromise the quality of care they’d usually deliver, since the pandemic
- A quarter of people with MS have needed to see an MS nurse or neurologist in the last 12 months, but haven’t been able to
- People must be able to access essential services and support from the NHS, through every stage of their MS journey.
Getting help was almost impossible
Ayad, 24, in Leeds, has had a difficult experience with getting support from his MS team through the pandemic.
"Understandably during the pandemic, it wasn’t possible to have face-to-face appointments, however my condition was rapidly declining.
"Unfortunately, over the course of the pandemic I have gone from skipping daily to using a wheelchair daily."Ayad, lives with progressive MS
"Getting through to a consultant about this was almost impossible, even telephone appointments were far and few.
"Unfortunately, over the course of the pandemic I have gone from skipping daily to using a wheelchair daily."
Almost 8,000 of you signed our open letter
Thank you! Now we’re joining up with other organisations, to see progress towards people with MS and other neurological conditions getting the vital support they need.
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