The Neurological Alliance has launched a new patient experience survey for people living with a neurological condition in England. The survey opened on June 30 2016 and will remain open until September 30, and is open to anyone with a neurological condition living in England.
A good understanding of the issues and concerns of people living with neurological conditions is essential to delivering improved services. The survey aims to collect vital information about the experiences of people affected by neurological conditions, including the quality of the treatment, care and support that they receive.
Alongside the outputs of Public Health England’s Neurology Intelligence Network, which has published a range of data and analysis on neurological conditions, services and outcomes over the past three years, the patient survey data supports the objective of filling the gap that exists around reliable sources of neurology data at the national level. It will help us to understand how much progress has been made in improving neurological services, and which areas to focus on for improvement.
The survey questions address issues covering the whole pathway of neurology services, from initial diagnosis and referral to ongoing care, treatment and support, both in and out of hospital. In addition, the survey looks beyond health services to a range of other issues affecting neurology patients, including access to social services, welfare benefits, suitable housing, and assisted living technologies.
The results of our first patient experience survey, conducted in 2014, were published in 2015 as The Invisible Patients: Revealing the state of neurology services. The survey data we collected has been invaluable in providing evidence and examples to support a wide range of campaigning activity on behalf of people living with neurological conditions. We intend this year’s survey to produce an even richer source of data which will set out a comprehensive picture of your experience of neurological services and make recommendations about how care can be improved.
We welcome all support to publicise and raise awareness of the survey in order to generate as high a response rate as possible, which will in turn lead to a richer and more valuable source of evidence and information. A printable flyer with QR code is available to download along with an FAQ document about the survey process. You can also follow the Neurological Alliance on Twitter at @NeuroAlliance, where we regularly post tweets and updates about the survey’s progress.
The survey has already received almost 2,500 responses in less than a month, so we are well on the way to producing a valuable new source of data and intelligence on neurological conditions and those who live with them. The final survey data will feed into a written policy report by the Neurological Alliance, as well as being made publicly available for additional analysis. We hope that this survey will improve our understanding of the reality of living with a neurological condition, and ultimately enable the development of more effective and responsive services.
Alex Massey is Senior policy and campaigns adviser at the Neurological Alliance. He has previously worked as a policy adviser at ACEVO, the charity leaders’ network, and as a Research Fellow for education at the think-tank Policy Exchange.