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Local health commissioners give green light to work up plans to improve services for neurology patients

NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has made a new commitment to offer better outcomes for neurology patients. Since commissioning a review of neurology services the CCG is now involving local people with multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s, motor neurone disease (MND) and epilepsy to design joined-up pathways of care that meet their needs.

The review of neurology services was undertaken by Neurological Commissioning Support (NCS) which has produced a report and recommendations for the CCG. The report reflects the views of local people who have a neurological condition; such as epilepsy or Parkinson’s, and focuses on a range of issues – specifically to find out if current services meet the demands and needs of patients.

In partnership with health and social care staff, carers and 100 patients, the review identified that on the whole local people saw the hospital as the main focus for managing their condition but that they really wanted more support in the community and services that are closer to home.

That is why the CCG is working in partnership with NCS to establish clearer integrated care pathways for epilepsy, Parkinson’s, MND and MS. This work will involve patients, carers and health and social care professionals whose experience and opinions will be used to design and deliver better coordinated services, paving the way for a more joined-up system.

To develop the care pathways the CCG and NCS are hosting a public and patient engagement event on Wednesday 9 April in York for patients, carers and health and social care professionals. Members of the Vale of York community who have been diagnosed with epilepsy, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s, and those that look after someone with one of these conditions are encouraged to get involved and help to build their ideal pathway of care.

Dr Mark Hayes, Chief Clinical Officer for the CCG said: “Our priority is to establish improved, integrated processes for those with a neurological condition. This will not only offer better outcomes to patients but will help to reduce preventable hospital admissions too.

“Patient and public opinion are the foundations that the CCG builds upon to shape decisions and services. We asked local service users what they wanted and they told us that they want to access coordinated care in a local setting. We are using what the local community has told us to deliver what is needed, in ways that will benefit everyone involved.”

Sue Thomas, Chief Executive of NCS led the review and said: “We’re really excited to be bringing patients and professionals together on 9 April to co-create new pathways of care. NCS has previously done this in other local areas and developed pathways that patients really want to see.

“Historically the NHS has delivered services without truly involving patients in the decision-making process. Patients in York often say that services are too focused on the hospital and want care that is closer to home – this is a fantastic opportunity for patients to have their say on the services they use.” 

Marilyn Ekers, Acting Chair of North Yorkshire and York Neurological Alliance which supported the audit said: “The development of integrated pathways is good news for patients. With health, social care and voluntary sector services working more closely together on one pathway, people should experience better coordination of all aspects of their care and easier access to local services.

“By having jointly agreed guidelines and processes for what are complex – and often confusing – arrangements, it will simplify the system for professionals as well as patients and carers.”

The public and patient engagement event on Wednesday 9 April will take place at West Offices, York. Places are limited. To book your place phone 01904 555 870 or email valeofyork.contactus@nhs.net.

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