Unwavering focus: pushing for improvement in neurological services
Dr Arani Nitkunan, consultant neurologist and Neurological Alliance Trustee, writes:
As a consultant neurologist working mainly in a district general hospital in Southwest London (Croydon University Hospital), there are several reasons why I very much appreciate all the work of The Neurological Alliance.
Firstly, the Alliance’s surveys (including My Neuro Survey), have informed us that patients are keen for good care locally. The data collected in these surveys has shown us where need is greatest and helped colleagues throughout the region work more closely together and make the case for improved neurology care and services. Now we have neurologists and nurse specialists at each of the acute NHS trusts in our region for three key neurology subspecialists (epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s).
Secondly, during the pandemic, the Alliance’s publication on Restarting Services For People With A Neurological Condition cemented our desire to track the time taken for patients referred into our services to be seen and helped us not to lose focus on seeing this group of patients despite pressures from the pandemic itself.
Thirdly, the Alliance’s guidance on NHS England’s initiative Patient Initiated Follow Up (PIFU) has helped us understand the benefits and potential pitfalls of this system. The guidance was first published at a time when our integrated care system was encouraging us to implement PIFU in our trust and the guidance gave further confidence to do this.
In short, the Alliance’s unwavering focus on the needs of people with neurological conditions enables me to use the evidence they provide to push for improvement in neurological services locally.