Improving neurological health services

Raising the standard of care through continuous improvement

Improving neurological services for every patient requires support from the 3 areas of the cycle of integrated improvement.

Our Neurological Services Implementation and Improvement Support programme focused on the Clinical Standards for Neurological Health Services (2009). Early evaluation by NHS boards showed how these standards were being implemented by neurological services across the country and identified key areas where quality improvement support would be most beneficial. Our improvement support focused on areas such as development of service plans, collecting and acting upon feedback, provision of information and neuropsychology/neuropsychiatry. The programme worked closely with the Neurological Alliance and its members, together with people living with neurological disorders and involved events, networking and continued evaluation activities with NHS boards.

The quality of neurological health services in 2012

Our NHSScotland local report published May 2012 presents the findings from national neurological health services review panels. This report provides a baseline of the quality of neurological health services in Scotland and identifies specific areas for improvement.

Evaluating self assessments

Healthcare Improvement Scotland took a risk based and proportionate approach to the evaluations that led to the local report published in May. A series of evaluation panels took place in January and February 2012. NHS boards’ completed self-evaluations and provided supporting data to allow the panels to assess performance against the 17 key quality criteria.

Improving care of functional neurological symptoms

NHS boards face many competing priorities, our improvement approach enabled specialists to secure dedicated time and resource to the improvement activities which mattered most to them. The Stepped Care report published in March 2012 was produced by neurologists, psychiatrists and clinical neuropsychologists and provides recommendations specific to functional symptoms that NHS boards may wish to implement.

The neurology patient journey

The clinical standards for neurological services in Scotland state that from referral, every patient should experience a quality of care that gives confidence to the patient, clinician and carer. The standards set a level of care for all patients with neurological conditions and give specific indicators for:

  • epilepsy
  • headache
  • motor neurone disease
  • multiple sclerosis, and
  • Parkinson’s disease.

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Linking with key initiatives

Working closely with key national initiatives keeps our improvement relevant and innovative.