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Local NHS working hard to improve neurology services

To offer better outcomes for patients and improved care, NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has recently commissioned a review of local neurology services.

The review; undertaken by Neurological Commissioning Support (NCS), a unique voluntary sector organisation with expertise in neurology commissioning, has produced a report and recommendations for the CCG.

The report reflects the views of local people who have a neurological condition like epilepsy, Parkinson’s or MS; 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.

As a result, the CCG and NCS are working together to establish more explicit integrated care pathways for epilepsy, Parkinson’s and MS. This means services for these patients will be better coordinated, allowing problems to be identified earlier and pave the way for more joined-up systems.

Chief Executive of NCS Sue Thomas, who led the review, said:

“Patients on the whole said they do not want to be reliant on care from the hospital and need more information and support to self-care and be independent. Service transformation models that NCS has developed in other areas may help support new ways of working, and integrated care pathways will be initially developed in epilepsy, Parkinson’s and MS.”

Dr Mark Hayes, Chief Clinical Officer for the CCG said: “It is vital that we 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 emergency hospital admissions.

“Patient and public opinion helps to shape the decisions that the CCG makes. Local people have said that they want to access coordinated care in a local setting and we are committed to streamlining systems that will benefit everyone involved.”

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.”

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