After an incredibly hectic few weeks at the Scottish lobby, the Northern Ireland Lobby and in Westminster with Takin’ Charge, I’m finally getting back to writing up this blog.
On Monday 10th of June the final specialised service specification for England was released. You can find the final neurosciences service specification here.
What are Service Specifications?: The Service Specifications are government documents which have been created to remove the inconsistencies in service provision across England. They do this by setting out what specialised services need to be available in every region throughout the country. The 10 page Annex of the Neuroscience specification is dedicated to Neuromuscular conditions. There are very positive elements in the specification: It details the need for multi-disciplinary teams in every region, which will comprise of neuromuscular Consultants, neuromuscular physiotherapist, Neuromuscular Nurse, Occupational Therapist, Speech and Language Therapist (SALT), dietician, psychologist and neuromuscular care coordinator. It has specific sections on Dietary Care, Respiratory Care, Cardiac Care, Orthopaedic and Spinal Care, Wheel Chair Services, Orthotic Provision, Pyschological Support and Transitional Care. Another key point is that they will map provision and through this process highlight measures for improving clinical outcomes, patient experience and integration of primary, secondary and tertiary services.
We have consulted on this document twice – you can request our response to the both rounds of consultations if you’d like by contacting myself at email@example.com.
This document is potentially a major step toward the provision of high quality care in every region of England. It is hoped that this national approach to commissioning will tie existing services together and map the provision of these services in the different regions – thereby addressing the inconsistency of provision of NMD services throughout England.
What will happen now?: The Service Specification will come into effect in October 2013. From then on, the care provision standards detailed in the specification will begin to be commissioned. Action Duchenne will ensure that gaps in services in every region is highlighted to commissioners and government so that everyone will access to the best standards of care available.