To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to tackle unwarranted variation in (a) treatment of, (b) care and (c) support for people with neurological conditions.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) develops evidence-based guidance for healthcare professionals on best practice in the health and care system, supporting improved patient outcomes and reducing variation. NICE has produced a range of guidance on neurological conditions which clinicians and commissioners are expected to take into account.
The National Neurosciences Advisory Group (NNAG) is developing optimum clinical pathways for people with neurological conditions. The pathways will support the improvement of treatment, care and support services, setting out aspirations for good care and commissioning of neurological services locally and nationally.
The NNAG has worked with NHS RightCare to publish two toolkits, specifically on progressive neurological conditions and epilepsy. The toolkits prioritise faster and more accurate diagnoses, collaborative working between different disciplines and an increase in the availability of neuro-rehabilitation, reablement and psychosocial support. New triage processes have been introduced to ensure patients receive the care they need, with more patients now seen in outpatient settings closer to home. In addition, the Department has announced the development of a cross-Government strategy on acquired brain injury. The strategy will be informed by a call for evidence which will invite views on whether other related neurological conditions should also be included.