August 15, 2016
The Neurological Alliance, of which Action for M.E. is a member, have published their report Neurology and primary care: Improving the transition from primary care for people with neurological conditions.
The findings of the report are based on a survey of GPs. The survey assessed the primary care awareness of three neurological conditions, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis, as compared to a non-neurological condition, diabetes.
Although M.E. was not one of the conditions explicitly considered in the report, its findings are relevant to primary care for people with any neurological condition and the subsequent recommendations are not condition-specific.
The findings of the report are split into two main sections. The first considers GPs’ confidence in assessing and referring patients. It finds that fewer GPs are confident in their ability to diagnose neurological conditions, and 84% of respondents felt they could benefit from further training on identifying and managing people presenting with neurological conditions.
The second main section considers access to services. 85% of GPs stated that they were either ‘somewhat concerned’ or ‘extremely concerned’ about the time taken from referral of a patient to seeing a consultant neurologist. A majority of respondents felt inadequate service provision contributed to patients facing a delayed diagnosis.
The full report presents these findings in more detail and provides recommendations to improve knowledge of neurological conditions among GPs and the provision of services.