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Major Conditions Strategy call for evidence a missed opportunity to Back the 1 in 6


Today (Wednesday 17th May) the Government has launched a six-week call for evidence on the Major Conditions Strategy.

Despite more than 40 organisations calling for a wider range of neurological conditions to be covered in the strategy, the call for evidence focuses on just a few condition areas. We are yet to receive a response to our letter.

Strategy intends to improve care for those living with increased complexity

The government believes the “Major Conditions Strategy signals [their] intention to improve care and outcomes for those living with multiple conditions and an increasing complexity of need”. In addition, the government states “It will seek to reduce care and treatment that are too narrowly focused on specific diseases or organs in the body and consider how to treat people as a whole.” The call for evidence is shaped around six priority areas only (cancers, cardiovascular disease (stroke), chronic respiratory diseases, dementia, mental ill health and musculoskeletal (MSK) disorders).

One in six across the country live with a neurological condition such as autism, multiple sclerosis, migraine or epilepsy. Research shows that: 

  • The likelihood living with a mental health condition is high for people living with a neurological condition, and mental, emotional and cognitive health problems are often caused by physical damage to the brain or atypical biological characteristics within the brain 
  • Brain tumours are the biggest cancer killer of children and adults under 40 
  • Women with the neurological condition neurofibromatosis type 1 have an increased risk of breast cancer. 
  • Around three in 10 people with Parkinson’s have Parkinson’s-related dementia at any one time. 

Too often overlooked

Georgina Carr, Chief Executive, said: 

“Neurological conditions are the leading cause of disability worldwide and the second leading cause of death globally. The individual, societal and economic impacts of neurological conditions are clear. Yet government continues to overlook millions of people living with these conditions, and today’s call for evidence is another example of that. We will urge government to reconsider the scope of the strategy, so that it better reflects the reality of living with a neurological condition.”

What next

We will work with people affected by neurological conditions and our members to respond to the call for evidence over the next six weeks.

We also urge people affected by neurological conditions to respond to the call for evidence, particularly if you live with multiple conditions. If you would like support to do so, please get in touch (info@neural.org.uk) body living with a neurological condition to do the same, particularly those who live with multiple conditions.

We will also continue to engage with the Department to ensure the experiences and needs of people with neurological conditions are heard.