Shortage of outpatient neurology services leads to poorer outcomes for patients, warns Neurological Alliance of Ireland

0
494

Neurology patients are travelling over 200km roundtrip to see their neurologists which leads to poorer outcomes for patients, according to the Neurological Alliance of Ireland (NAI).

The NAI  has launched a new campaign seeking commitments from elected representatives and the HSE to provide outpatient neurology services at five regional hospitals around the country.

The Alliance said currently, some patients were travelling 60-112km one way to see their consultant neurologist. The NAI is calling on elected representatives to provide outpatient consultant neurology services in Bantry, Letterkenny, Mayo, Portlaoise, and Wexford to reduce the journeys required for those living with neurological conditions.

 Magdalen Rogers, NAI Executive Director, said,  “Access to a consultant neurologist should not depend on where you live, yet people with chronic long-term neurological conditions are regularly travelling between 60-112km to see their neurologist. We know that patients travelling long distances for treatment suffer poorer outcomes, from delays in diagnosis to living with debilitating symptoms.

“Providing consultant neurology outpatient services in regional hospitals will not only have a positive impact on a patient’s overall health, but it reduces unnecessary admissions, reduces length of stay and unnecessary tests.

“Set out in Sláintecare reform, patients have the right to access services closer to their homes and our elected representatives have a responsibility to see this promise through. We are calling on elected representatives and the HSE to commit to delivering these services for the over 800,000 people living with neurological conditions across Ireland.”