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.
Our report shows 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.
We need urgent change for #NeurologyNow
The UK government mustn’t leave people with MS behind.
Why do we need action for neurology now?
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! We handed it in at Westminster on Tuesday 26 October. We'll be handing letters to the Scottish Welsh and Northern Ireland governments in the coming weeks.
Keeping up the pressure
It's vital people can access essential services and support from the NHS at every stage of their MS journey. So we’ll be keeping the pressure on.
We’re calling for enough funding to support the development of national plans to restore and improve neurology service. And extra funding to recruit and retain neurology professionals.
We'll also meet Professor Steve Powis, the National Medical Director for NHS England to discuss our report and proposals.
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