30.3.2022 NAI appears before Oireachtas Committee on Health to highlight the national shortage of nurse specialists in neurology

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On March 30th, NAI appeared in front of the Oireachtas Committee on Health to highlight the impact of COVID19 on access to neurological care services. NAI Executive Director, Magdalen Rogers, pointed to critical staffing shortages in neurology services which are leading to increasing waiting lists and times for neurology patients and impacting the capacity to cope with COVID19 backlogs. 

NAI called for increased investment in neurology staffing, particularly nurse specialists, who have a key role to play in tackling waiting lists. In October 2021 NAI launched their Patients Deserve Better campaign to tackle the shortage of 100 specialist nurses across neurology services. 

 

Read our Opening Statement to the Committee HERE

Read our press release below

PRESS RELEASE Wednesday, 30th March 2022

NAI to warn Oireachtas members of national shortage of nurse specialists in neurology

 

The Neurological Alliance of Ireland (NAI), which brings together 30 non-profit organisations to advocate for the rights of 800,000 people in Ireland living with a neurological condition, is seeking investment to tackle the serious shortage of nurse specialists in neurology.

 Presenting to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health today (30.03.22), the NAI will outline that nationally, there is a shortfall of over 100 nurse specialists in neurology in the Irish healthcare system.

 Nurse specialists in neurology provide a range of services to people with neurological conditions including nurse-led clinics, rapid access clinics, telephone advisory services and outreach services. They can significantly improve the quality of care at lower cost, mainly by preventing unnecessary admissions through advice, information, support, counselling and – with appropriate safeguards – adjustments in medication.

 Speaking in advance of the presentation, Magdalen Rogers, NAI Executive Director said: "In October 2020, the NAI launched our Patients Deserve Better campaign to highlight the need for more nurse specialists in neurology. According to the Model of Care for Neurology Services in Ireland we have an overall shortfall of 100 nurse specialists across neurology services.

"What does this mean in practice for the over 800,000 people in Ireland living with neurological conditions represented by the member organisations of the Neurological Alliance? It means that four fifths of Irish people living with Parkinson's disease, for example, do not have access to a nurse specialist, because of the absence of nurse specialists in adult neurology services for complex neurological conditions while there are no specialist nurses for rare complex conditions such as Huntington's disease.

"Investing in nurse specialists in neurology services is critical to reducing waiting lists and improving patient care. Latest figures show 23,815 people on waiting lists for a neurology appointment. This compares to 13,218 on the waiting list in 2015. We have clear evidence within our own health system of the role of nurse specialists in waiting list reduction and prevention of hospital admission.

"We are calling on the members of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health to support our call to significantly increase the number of nurse specialists in neurology by up to twenty additional nurses per year over the next five years in line with the Model of Care for Neurology Services."

 

 

 

 

Attached Documents

PDF icon NAI Press Release on Committee on Health Hearing (Press_Release_Health_Hearing_30_March.pdf | 46 kB)

 

 
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