Here, you can find details of our current campaigns and how they are progressing.
It’s time for a better deal for neurology
(January 2012 – present)
On 16 December 2011 the National Audit Office, which scrutinises public spending on behalf of Parliament, published a groundbreaking report entitled Services for people with neurological conditions. The report assessed whether value for money has been achieved through investment in neurological services since the introduction of the National Service Framework for Long Term Conditions (NSFLTC) in 2005.
The report found that NSFLTC lacked leadership and monitoring at national level, resulting in poor implementation. Consequently, a 38% real terms increase in health spending on neurological services between 2006-7 and 2009-10 to £2.9billion, quality of care remains poor, characterised by fragmentation, poor coordination and significant variation in service accessibility and diagnostic times across the country. The NAO concluded that current spending on neurological services therefore does not represent value for money.
The ‘Better Deal’ campaign
In response to the NAO’s report, the Neurological Alliance launched its first public campaign ‘It’s time for a better deal for neurology’. Our key policy calls have been for:
- A targeted and properly resourced national outcomes strategy for neurological conditions
- A national clinical director for neurology
- The establishment of properly resourced, NHS-managed neurological clinical networks
Public Accounts Committee inquiry
Subsequent to the NAO report the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), the Government’s spending watchdog, conducted its own inquiry into neurological services and published its recommendations for the Government on 16 March 2012.
The PAC made a series of strong recommendations, which the Neurological Alliance called on the Government to implement in full.
In its response to the PAC in May 2012, however, the Government agreed to implement only a handful of these recommendations, rejecting the many of the PAC’s key calls.
Progress since May 2012
In the months following the Government’s formal response to the PAC, we continued to campaign for our ‘Better Deal’ objectives and two major policy calls have since been adopted, specifically:
- The establishment of neurology clinical networks
- The appointment of a National Clinical Director for neurological conditions
Alongside the Government’s agreement to develop a neurology dataset, these committments represent a huge success for the neurological community. If all three are implemented, they have the potential to begin really addressing the legacy of neurological neglect and deliver sustained improvements in neurological services.
h.3 Our next steps
We are now turning our attention to ensuring that the commitments the Government, NHS Commissioning Board and Department of health made in 2012 are met in the months ahead.