Charity seeks neurological care review as patient concerns ‘not taken seriously’

Patients with neurological conditions struggle to get a diagnosis and feel doctors do not take their symptoms seriously, a charity has said.

In a report published on Wednesday, the Brain Charity said people with neurological conditions reported receiving inadequate information and support, as well as having their concerns dismissed by GPs.

Pippa Sargent (pictured), the charity’s chief executive, said: “Some of the findings in this report are stark. They paint a picture of isolation, fear and a failure to be taken seriously.

“For too many people, delays and a lack of information and support exacerbates what is already a harrowing journey.”

Around a third of neurological patients face waits of more than a year before receiving a diagnosis, with some reporting that even medical professionals seemed to lack knowledge of certain conditions.

As well as allowing conditions to go untreated, the charity said the lack of information and delays in receiving a diagnosis “made an already difficult and emotional process far harder for people”.

The findings of the report are based on a survey of 827 people and echo the results of a larger study carried out by the Neurological Alliance in 2022.

Only 27% of respondents told the Brain Charity they felt their concerns had been taken seriously by their GP, with others saying they were “patronised” or “not listened to”.

In response, the charity has called for an independent review of the diagnosis of neurological conditions and mental health support available for patients, as well as a taskforce to tackle the issues facing those with such conditions.

The charity said: “We believe a more streamlined system which improves standards of care and support for people with neurological conditions would not only save public money, it would save lives.”

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