Programme Progress

Care pathways

Within the model of care are care pathways for 4 conditions, Headache, MS, PD & MND. These describe an anticipated pathway of care for these conditions. As with model of care, these pathways have been developed in collaboration with key stakeholders.

National Survey of Neurology Centres

A national survey of neurology services was undertaken in collaboration with the Neurological Alliance of Ireland. It has been a very useful tool in outlining clearly the challenges being faced in neurology centres nationally. Data from the survey has been referenced within the model of care. It also assisted with informing the detailed submission of the neurology programme for consideration for service plan 2016.

Medication Access

Equal access to services and treatments are core principles of the National Clinical Programme. The programme has been working hard with other stakeholders across the HSE to  develop systems which would improve access to a number of treatments. We have had success in getting increased access to Fampyra, a medication used for the treatment of symptoms in patients with MS.

The new system was approved and went live in October 2015. This proposal has made Fampyra accessible to 229 patients who otherwise would not have received it from October – December 2015.

The Programme is hopeful that a similar system will be developed to further improve access to other high cost treatments and medications for patients with neurological conditions.


In collaboration with the office of the Chief Financial Officer, Acute Hospital Division, National Clinical Programme for Neurology, Office of the Clinical Strategy and Programmes Division and PCRS, a system has been developed which means that these 2 high cost drugs will be purchased and paid for through a National Drugs Management System and not by individual hospitals. This will see an end to the equity in terms of access based on geographical location that currently exists.

Reimbursement for the medications is subject to approval based on adherence to agreed prescribing guidelines which were developed by the National Clinical Programme for Neurology in consultation with Neurologists around the country.

To support people with MS in terms of communication around the new system, a number of approaches have been developed including;

-          an online support with general information about the system with facility for people to email in specific questions (around the system, not clinical)

-          An information leaflet detailing implications of data gathering required to support system with respect to peoples data protection rights.

-          A ‘FAQ’ resource which the Neurology Programme worked on in collaboration with MS Ireland.

The National Clinical Programme for Neurology is delighted to see the implementation of this new system. This sees the culmination of over 2 years work by the programme on behalf of patients with MS around the country.



Model of care: 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 National Clinical Programme has developed a model of care which describes a vision where world class neurology services can be achieved here in Ireland. You can read the Neurology Model of Care HERE

Access to medications: Equitable access to services and treatments are core goals of the National Clinical Programme. To support realisation of this goal with respect to medications, the programme has been actively involved in advancing proposals for revisions of current funding mechanisms. 

Education: The neurology programme recognises its key role in education. To this end the programme has identified goals around education and training across professionals working in general medicine and neurology, competencies for staff working in neurology, education for patients, families & carers and education for school children on the role & function of the brain.