NHS: Neurology Care

Baroness Blackwood of North Oxford Excerpts
Monday 26th February 2024

(3 months, 3 weeks ago)

Lords Chamber
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Lord Markham Portrait Lord Markham (Con)
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I echo the noble Baroness’s comments regarding Lord Cormack.

In terms of the long-term workforce plan, I was talking this morning to the national clinical lead in this area and to Professor Steve Powis. The next stage in terms of the detail is looking at the individual specialties and neuroscience experts are part of that. In the last five years, we have seen an increase of about 20% or so in this space but understanding that need going forward is the next stage in the long-term workforce plan.

Baroness Blackwood of North Oxford Portrait Baroness Blackwood of North Oxford (Con)
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My Lords, I echo the comments about Lord Cormack—we are all going to miss him dreadfully in this Chamber.

There are about 600,000 people in the UK living with epilepsy. An epileptic seizure can cause significant disability and, in the worst instances, death. Only half of those living with epilepsy are seizure free, but this could rise to 70% if all those with epilepsy were targeted to the right treatments. Can the Minister say what plans the department has to improve epileptic treatment in the UK with improved specialist care?

Lord Markham Portrait Lord Markham (Con)
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I thank my noble friend, and I proudly wear the Epilepsy Action badge from the meeting I was just at. As my noble friend says, it is all about trying to get that early diagnosis. If you can get that and help people get the right treatments, that is exactly the right direction of travel because it can make a huge difference to outcomes. The progressive neurological condition toolkit I mentioned earlier sets out that pathway and the model of integrated care for all the ICBs, which they will all then be held to account on to make sure patients with all these conditions—and there are 600 of them including epilepsy—are getting the right treatment in their neighbourhood.