Services for people with neurological conditions are poor value for money

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 16 December 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d8205
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. 1London

Department of Health spending on neurological conditions increased by almost 40% over four years yet there was little to show for it, says a report from the National Audit Office.

The report, which focuses on Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and motor neurone disease, says there has been little progress since the national service framework for long term conditions was introduced in 2005. In the UK, two million people are estimated to have neurological conditions, excluding migraine.

“We don’t believe the current spending is value for money,” said David Moon, director of health value for money studies at the National Audit Office and author of the report. Health spending on neurological services increased by 38% in real terms from £2.1bn (€2.5bn; $3.26bn) in 2006-7 to £2.9bn in 2009-10. This was part of local commissioners’ general budget and was not ring fenced by the Department of Health.

The national service framework set out 11 quality requirements that were supposed to be fully implemented by 2015. “Implementation of these quality requirements has been poor and …

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