Thank you for contacting me about support for people with motor neurone disease (MND).
I understand that MND is a devastating disease which can be difficult to diagnose. In February 2016, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) published new guidelines on the assessment and management of MND. This sets out the signs and symptoms of the disease and recommends that robust pathways are in place to inform healthcare professionals about MND and local referral arrangements. NICE is clear that patients suspected of having MND should be referred without delay. The Royal College of GPs (RCGP) and the MND Association have also worked together to produce a ‘Red Flag Tool’ which sets out key signs of MND to help GPs to identify suspected cases and ensure prompt referral.
All services for people with MND should be commissioned in line with NHS England’s neurosciences service specification which sets out what providers must have in place to deliver high quality specialised neurological care. MND care is part of the NHS’s specialised services. You may like to know that the budget for these services has increased more rapidly than other parts of the NHS, to £16.6 billion for the year 2017/18.
The Government’s National Institute for Health Research has increased spending on neurological conditions from £29.9 million in 2010/11 to £46.7 million in 2014/15.
I also recognise the valuable contribution made by carers of people with MND, many of whom spend a significant proportion of their life providing support to family members, friends and neighbours. I agree that carers must receive the right support to help them carry out their caring roles and a new cross-Government National Carers Strategy is being introduced to look at what more can be done to support existing and future carers.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.