Last updated 08/09/2020

Alliance collaborates with NHS England on Webinar about neurological conditions and mental health

Last week, the Alliance worked with NHS England and Improvement’s Mental Health Team to deliver a Webinar on increasing understanding about neurological conditions in IAPT teams (Increasing Access to Psychological Therapy) – as part of NHS England’s IAPT Webinar series. The Webinar programme was originally set up by NHSE to facilitate peer to peer learning between different IAPT Long Term Condition sites. It has evolved and now addresses a new topic of interest each month, aimed at all levels across the IAPT workforce. Helping to deliver a Webinar to IAPT staff on the particular mental health challenges facing people with neurological conditions, was a unique opportunity for the Alliance.

The speakers – expert clinicians and people with lived experience

On the speaker panel we were delighted to welcome Dr Jason Price from South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, a practising neuropsychologist with a special interest in functional disorders – including non-epileptic attack disorder and stroke, and Dr Mike Dilley of St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, a consultant neuropsychiatrist in neurorehabilitation, with specialist interests in traumatic and acquired brain injury and severe and complex functional neurological disorders requiring multidisciplinary inpatient rehabilitation.


Alongside them, two speakers with lived experience of neurological conditions, Mandy with dystonia and Phil with Parkinson’s, were able to share their experiences of living with a neurological condition, which added so much depth and insight to the event. Mandy, a Dystonia UK Group Coordinator from the Berkshire support group, was able to talk about her long route to getting a diagnosis, which took more than 10 years, and the emotional rollercoaster she was on until she received her diagnosis and treatment with botulinum toxin injections, to help control her symptoms. Phil shared how he was able to continue to work after his diagnosis in 2012, but had to retire three years ago as a result of his Parkinson’s, although he remains very active and engaged in campaigning and advocating for people with Parkinson’s as Lead Coordinator for The Parkinson’s UK Medway Working Age Group. Phil is keen to get the message across that Parkinson’s is not just something that affects older people, with the many challenges that brings.


Georgina, our CEO, set the scene by talking about the work of the Alliance, how the prevalence of co-morbid mental health conditions is higher for people with neurological conditions than other long term conditions (50% and 30% respectively) and sharing data from our Patient Experience Survey 2018/2019 on the prevalence of mental health problems in people with neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s, multiple system atrophy and autism. Jason and Mike with their wealth of clinical experience, spoke about the many different emotions people may experience with long-term neurological conditions, the need to adapt CBT and other mental health interventions to individual needs and symptoms, developing integrated care pathways for clients – and the real benefits for care of interdisciplinary working and knowledge sharing.


Accessing a recording of the Webinar

Many thanks again to our speakers, Dr Jason Price, Dr Mike Dilley, Mandy Young and Phil Bungay, for sharing their expertise, and to Parkinson’s UK and Dystonia UK for connecting the Alliance with Phil and Mandy. Our grateful thanks also to Ursula James and Sarah Wood at NHSEI for all their help in setting up this event – including the invaluable tech checks beforehand! To watch the recording of the NHSE IAPT Webinar please click the play button on the video below.