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Less than half of CCGs provide neurology appointments

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Less than half of Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) provide nursing outpatient appointments for neurology patients according to a report by Public Health England.

National Neurology Intelligence Network data briefing, showed that neurology nurse appointments are often not available in a patient's local CCG. Of the 211 CCGs in England, 70 were able to provide some neurology nursing consultations locally, 33.6% of the total. However, only 38 CCGs, or 18% of the total, were able to provide more than 60% of the consultations in their local area.

The report, found that the number of nursing consultations for neurological conditions rose by 6400 to 46,100 in 2012/13, a 30.3% rise from 2010/11. Of this, 5900 appointments were unique users of the service, while 15,900 unique patients attended follow up appointments for their neurological condition to be assessed.

However, despite the rising demand for the services, the availability of nursing neurology appointments varied across CCGs. The report found that nursing neurology outpatient appointment services were provided in 188 CCGs in England during 2012/13. However, only 87 of these had more than 50 appointments available to patients.

The report highlights areas such as South West England, Cumbria, and parts of the West Midlands as having good coverage of neurology nursing services. In contrast, the majority of London, the North East, and Greater Manchester had no local neurology nursing services.

John Newton, chief knowledge officer at PHE, said: 'People with neurological issues need access to timely and effective services. Helping commissioning teams understand the demand for services and raising awareness of what is happening in their area is essential to ensure services are appropriately commissioned and able to provide timely, long term care.'

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