General Election 2019

Ask your parliamentary candidates to take the Neuro Pledge

What is the Neuro Pledge?

Ahead of the 2019 General Election, Epilepsy Action and The Neurological Alliance are asking parliamentary candidates to take the #NeuroPledge2019. The Neurological Alliance is a coalition of around 80 organisations working together to create positive change for people living with neurological conditions.

The current health and welfare system is not meeting the needs of many people with neurological conditions, including epilepsy. Too many people experience long delays in getting a diagnosis, poor quality mental health care and inadequate welfare support.

This needs to change.

That's why we're asking parliamentary candidates, the people who want to become your MP, to take the Neuro Pledge. In doing so they will be standing with people who have neurological conditions in calling for:

  1. An increase in the neurology workforce across the NHS, including specialist nurses and neurologists
  2. A welfare system that properly supports people with neurological conditions
  3. Improved mental health support for people with neurological conditions

By taking the Neuro Pledge, parliamentary candidates will be showing they are committed to raising awareness of neurological conditions. They will be pledging their support to campaign for better health and welfare services. We'll hold them to their commitments if they get elected and become an MP.

We need you to make this happen! You can help push epilepsy and other neurological conditions up the agenda in the next parliament by following the easy steps below.

How can I support the Neuro Pledge?

Ask your parliamentary candidates to show they support people with neurological conditions by taking the Neuro Pledge.

  1. Find out who your parliamentary candidates are and how to contact them.
    • Visit the Who Can I Vote For website and enter your postcode
    • This lets you know who is standing to be your next MP
    • Click on the candidates and scroll down the page to find their email addresses and social media profiles
  2. Email your parliamentary candidates asking them to take the Neuro Pledge.
  3. Let everyone know about it! Tell your friends, family and colleagues. Encourage them to ask their parliamentary candidates to take the Neuro Pledge.

Why do we need parliamentary candidates to take the Neuro Pledge?

Neurological conditions affect the brain, spine, and nervous systems. They include conditions such as epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, motor neurone disease and multiple sclerosis, among many others. Many are life-long and life limiting. Over 12 million people in England live with a neurological condition. That's around 1 in every 6 people.

More needs to be done to improve services and support for people affected by neurological conditions.

We've included more information below about some specific challenges people with neurological conditions face.

Neurological Alliance patient experience survey

The Neurological Alliance recently carried out a patient experience survey of over 10,000 people living with neurological conditions. The survey highlighted that too many people with a neurological condition are not having their needs met by current services in England. You can read the full report here.

The survey found:

  • Significant delays in obtaining a diagnosis, and subsequent treatment and care. Many people with neurological conditions have to wait too long to see specialists and do not have access to specialist nurse support. Over half (55%) had experienced delays in accessing healthcare. Almost a third (29%) waited more than 12 months to see a neurologist after being referred. Almost 40% did not have access to a specialist nurse but would like this support.
  • Financial needs are not being met. People with neurological conditions are missing out on much needed financial support. Ongoing issues with the welfare system and assessment processes are having a real impact on people with neurological conditions. Almost half (43%) of people affected by neurological conditions said their financial needs are not being met at all. Current assessment processes are often unable to accurately capture the impact neurological conditions can have on people's lives.
  • Mental health needs are not being met.Neurological conditions can affect the brain in complex ways, as well as making many aspects of life much harder. As a result, many people experience challenges with their mental health. Yet, 40% said their mental wellbeing needs are not being met at all.

Additional challenges facing people with neurological conditions

The findings from the patient experience survey are another reminder that care for people with neurological conditions is not good enough. More action needs to be taken to make sure that everyone affected by these conditions can access the high-quality care and support they deserve, throughout their life.

  • People with neurological conditions report the lowest health-related quality of life of any long term condition.
  • People with neurological conditions report poorer experiences for confidence and trust, respect and dignity, and overall experience of care than those with other health conditions
  • There has been a 39% increase in deaths associated with neurological conditions since 2001. This is compared to a 6% decrease in all-cause deaths.

There is some work being done to improve neurology services. This is very welcome. But we also need support from MPs to make sure health and welfare services work for people with neurological conditions. This will help to ensure that people are properly supported now and in the future.

The Neuro Pledge is an important step towards raising awareness and understanding of neurological conditions in the next parliament.

iThe 2013–14 NHS England survey of patients of GP practices

Email template to send to your parliamentary candidates

Copy this text and paste into your email client

Dear parliamentary candidate

As you are standing to be my next MP, I'm getting in touch to ask you to take the Neuro Pledge. By taking the pledge you will be showing your support for the 1 in 6 people with a neurological condition in the UK.

Currently, too many people affected by neurological conditions are not having their needs met. This is why The Neurological Alliance, a coalition of 80 organisations, and Epilepsy Action, a leading epilepsy charity, are asking parliamentary candidates to take the Neuro Pledge. Your support is vital to improve health services and support for people with neurological conditions
in the next parliament by calling for:

1 - An increase in the neurology workforce across the NHS, including more specialist nurses and neurologists
2 - A welfare system that properly supports people with neurological conditions
3 - Improved mental health support for people with neurological conditions

To find out more and to take the pledge visit http://www.epilepsy.org.uk/neuropledge-form

By taking the Neuro Pledge you'll be helping to raise awareness and understanding of neurological conditions. You will also be showing your support for high-quality neurology services and care in the next Parliament.

On behalf of everyone affected by neurological conditions, thank you!

[INSERT YOUR NAME AND ADDRESS HERE]


Event Date: 
Monday 18 November 2019