Neurology is the branch of medicine dealing with disorders of the nervous system, including the brain, brain stem, spinal cord, root, plexus, peripheral nerves and muscle.
The total cost of disorders of the brain and mind was estimated at €798 billion in Europe in 2010. This estimate is likely to be conservative as some disorders could not be included due to limitations in the available data.
Reference to UK data would indicate that 10% of visits to Accident and Emergency Departments are for a neurological problem as are 20% of visits to the General Practitioner.
The management of people with neurological conditions crosses all divisions from acute hospitals, mental health, social care, primary care and health and wellbeing and requires an integrated approach.
The overarching aim of the neurology programme is that the patients should have equitable access to a high quality responsive service which provides accurate diagnosis and appropriate management for all neurological conditions. We aim for excellence in neurology care and the best outcome for our patients.
Specialist care should be provided by a Consultant Neurologist working with a team of specialist nurses, Health and Social Care Professionals including dietitians, medical social workers, neuropsychologists, occupational therapists, orthoptists, speech and language therapists, podiatrists, pharmacists and physiotherapists.
Interfaces with other related services including neuropsychiatry, neurosurgery, neuroophthalmology, neuroradiology and neuropathology are also essential as well as others such as psychiatry, palliative care and rehabilitation medicine physicians.
The overall arching aim of the Neurology Programme under the Clinical Strategy and Programmes Divsion is to;
- Improve safety and quality in the delivery of patient centred care
- Improve access to appropriate services
- Improve cost effectiveness of services delivered.
To meet these objectives, the Neurology Programme recommends the following;