The Neurology and primary care report from the Neurological Alliance

The report was published on the NA website on Monday 15th August at the following link:

The Neurology and primary care report presents the results of a survey of 1,001 regionally representative GPs from across the UK (England, n=831), as well as an expert workshop convened to discuss the findings in December 2015. It follows on from the findings of the 2014 patient survey, which showed major delays affecting the primary care pathway for neurology.

The poll findings clearly show that GPs lack confidence in the primary care pathway for people with neurological conditions. It shows that the majority of GPs do not have faith in the ability of local services and systems to manage neurology patients effectively. It also suggests that GPs feel they would benefit from more training and guidance to manage people presenting with suspected neurological symptoms.

  • 85% (n=708) of GPs in England are either ‘somewhat concerned’ or ‘extremely concerned’ about the time taken from referral for patients to see a consultant neurologist.
  • The large majority of GPs in England (84%, n=701) feel that they could benefit from further training on identifying and managing people presenting with neurological conditions.
  • 59% (n=492) of GPs believe that the local services and systems in place in their area mean that people with neurological conditions frequently do not receive a timely diagnosis.
  • Fewer than half of GPs polled (47%, n=392) felt confident in their ability to make an initial assessment and referral for people presenting with signs and symptoms of multiple sclerosis.

The report also sets out eight key recommendations for improving the primary care pathway for people living with neurological conditions, including a call for the development of a pan-neurological ‘watch list’ of the ten signs and symptoms GPs should be aware of during patient interactions in primary care settings.

Please note that the report focuses primarily on England as that is the NA remit; however, GPs in all UK nations were surveyed and additional UK analysis is included in the appendix.


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