Patients Deserve Better

By June Shannon Stroke News   |   28th Nov 2022

The Neurological Alliance of Ireland has launched a new campaign calling for all patients to have access to community neurorehabilitation teams.

Just 15 per cent of neurological patients such as stroke patients or people suffering with a traumatic spine or brain injury have access to a community neurorehabilitation team and patients deserve better, the Neurological Alliance of Ireland (NAI) has said.

As a member of the NAI The Irish Heart Foundation is supporting the Patients Deserve Better campaign which was launched today (Monday 28 November 2022) by the Alliance and is calling for community neurorehabilitation teams to be put in place nationwide.

Neurological conditions affect the brain and spinal cord. They represent the leading cause of disability throughout the world and include many common conditions such as stroke, migraine, epilepsy and acquired brain injury as well as rare and genetic conditions.

Community neurorehabilitation teams are multi-disciplinary teams that provide vital care to support recovery and prevent disability for people with neurological conditions. Community specialist neurorehabilitation services are distinct from disability and other community residential/vocational, day services which do not have a rehabilitative focus.

According to the NAI, for people living with acquired neurological conditions such as stroke and brain injury these teams allow them to leave hospitals more quickly to continue their recovery at home, reducing the need for longer term care while receiving support close to where they live. For people living with progressive conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease access to these teams can help prevent unnecessary disability and hospital re-admissions.

Neurorehabilitation teams reduce the average length of stay in hospital and could result in saving over 42,000 bed days each year.

The Neurological Alliance of Ireland

Putting in place community neurorehabilitation teams makes sense. These teams reduce the average length of stay in hospital and could result in saving over 42,000 bed days each year. It also makes financial sense, for every €1 spend on these teams the health service saves €11, the NAI stated.

The NAI has pointed out that that the National Neurorehabilitation Strategy recommends that nine community neurorehabilitation teams are needed however to date just two have been delivered. According to the HSE, there should be one community neurorehabilitation team in each Community Health Organisation (CHO), of which there are nine in Ireland (CHO1 – 9). CHOs ensure that care is provided as close as possible to people’s homes. Each CHO includes a number of different counties.

The Irish Heart Foundation echoes the belief that patients deserve better and is happy to support the NAI’s new campaign. The campaign is calling on everyone to act by contacting Oireachtas members in their area highlighting the urgent need for all patients to have access to a community neurorehabilitation team.

For more information and to take action please see www.patientsdeservebetter.ie and join the conversation at #patientsdeservebetter.

The NAI is an umbrella group of non-profits organisations and patient groups which advocates for the rights of 800,000 people in Ireland living with a neurological condition.

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