The NHS has launched a new toolkit to help improve healthcare services for people with progressive neurological conditions, including multiple sclerosis (MS).
The news comes as patients with progressive neurological conditions are experiencing delays in diagnosis and treatment, fragmented and uncoordinated services, limited availability of neurospecialist rehab and reablement and a lack of psycho–social support.
The kit, dubbed the ‘RightCare toolkit’, will support systems to understand the priorities in care for people living with various progressive neurological conditions such as MS, motor neurone disease (MND), Parkinson’s and the atypical Parkinsonism’s of multiple system atrophy (MSA), progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) and corticobasal degeneration (CBD).
The idea, according to NHS England, is to provide the opportunity to assess and benchmark current systems to find opportunities for improvement and has been developed in collaboration with key stakeholders, including Motor Neurone Disease Association, Multiple Sclerosis Society and Multiple Sclerosis Trust among others.
If implemented successfully, the NHS estimates there could be 2,500 fewer emergency admissions to hospital a year for patients with these conditions, freeing up a welcome £10 million to spend on improving services.
Dawn Chamberlain, programme director - clinical improvement at NHS England and NHS Improvement, said that the kit is an “Opportunity for the NHS to work directly with patients and their families to deliver better care closer to home for the thousands of people with progressive neurological conditions.”
She continued, “As they work with staff, patients and stakeholders to implement the NHS Long Term Plan, this toolkit provides the information local health leaders need to understand how to deliver high quality neurology services. Many areas are already providing high quality care in line with best practice, and by supporting others to come up to the same standard, we can deliver faster, more joined-up and better care for thousands more people – supporting them to stay well in their own homes.”
The initiative is a result of joined forces between the MS Trust, Parkinson’s UK, MND Association, Sue Ryder, MSA Trust and PSP Association.