A new report investigating issues with how people with neurological conditions are diagnosed and referred to specialists - the primary care pathway - has been released.
The neurology and primary care report was published by the Neurological Alliance, of which Parkinson's UK is a member. It found that GPs in England aren't confident in the primary care pathway for people with neurological conditions like Parkinson's.
GPs want more training
GPs across England were asked to share their views on diagnosing someone with a neurological condition.
Of the GPs who responded to the call for evidence, 84% felt that they would benefit from further training on identifying and managing people presenting with neurological conditions.
Many also didn't think that local services could manage neurology patients effectively, as patients often experience long and unnecessary delays.
Faster diagnosis is needed
Morgan Vine, Parkinson's UK Policy and Campaigns Adviser, said:
"We are incredibly concerned that many people with Parkinson's do not experience a timely diagnosis, and that often professionals are confused about the symptoms they see and what they could mean.
"The longer someone has to wait for a diagnosis, the longer they have to wait to receive treatment and support for their condition. People with Parkinson's will continue to lose out without a clear path through primary care."
Improving primary care
The report contains 8 recommendations which could improve primary care for people with neurological conditions.
These include a call for the development of a pan-neurological 'watch list' of the 10 signs and symptoms GPs should be aware of when seeing patients in a primary care setting.
Parkinson's UK will continue to work with the Neurological Alliance and the UK Parkinson's Excellence Network to improve diagnosis and treatment for people with Parkinson's.
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