To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment he has made of the (a) extent and (b) effect on patient care of variation in specialist services for multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's among clinical commissioning groups in England.
12 December 2017
We know that variation exists between clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in the provision of care for neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis. Whilst it is right that CCGs have autonomy to shape services for local populations, there is a range of work ongoing at a national level to identify unwarranted variation in order to drive improvement, including:
- Through the RightCare programme, which was rolled out to every CCG in 2016/17, NHS England provides practical support to commissioners to tackle unwarranted variation and identify improvements and savings, including for neurological services;
- Public Health England’s Neurology intelligence network collates and interprets data on adult neurological conditions to provide intelligence for the National Health Service, policy makers, and clinicians; and
- The Getting it Right First Time programme, supported by NHS Improvement, expanded earlier in 2017 to include neurology and will soon provide insight to demonstrate the value of better neurological services both in hospitals and in the community.
NHS England will continue to work with the Neurological Alliance (an umbrella organisation for neurological condition charities) to support the new national Neurology Advisory Group (NAG), led by consultant neurologist Professor Adrian Williams. The NAG brings together system partners, professional bodies stakeholders to align work to improve neurological care, and has working to understand how best to utilise new and emerging data in services and outcomes. More information on national initiatives to reduce unwarranted variation and drive improvement can be found at the following links: