The UK’s National Health service has been warned that it faces a “neurology timebomb” by the Neurological Alliance (a group of over 70 charities and other organisations; Parkinson’s UK, whose article here first alerted me to this story, are among them). The short version of the story is that the number of people being diagnosed with neurological problems is increasing (part of this is due to the aging population), and that the NHS doesn’t seem to know what to do with them. Care is often “haphazard” and interim measures – such as provision of physiotherapy for newly diagnosed Parkinson’s patients – varies according to wear you live in the UK.
The Neurological Alliance is calling for a “neurology tsar” – a political figurehead to champion the cause.
The press have reported on this story:
My opinion? I think it’s a great idea. Better care, more consistent care – this is required. Measures can be taken to ensure that people stay healthier for longer; Pete Langman, in his post on the ballet story yesterday, suggested:
I’m sure martial arts or dance classes for the newly diagnosed, when delivered on the NHS as a matter of course, would save hundreds of thousands of pounds in the long run … and make for much happier patients.
Wouldn’t it be nice? But is the money there, and can the powers-that-be be persuaded to spend it? UK governments are often dreadfully short-sighted, looking only as far as the next election. Will long-term care form part of their plans? How persuasive can the Neurological Alliance be?