Services that promote continuity of care: key findings from an evaluation of the national service framework for long-term neurological conditions

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JournalSocial Care and Neurodisability
DatePublished - Aug 2011
Issue number3
Volume2
Number of pages11
Pages (from-to)147-157
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Purpose: This paper seeks to report key findings of a study, whose purpose was to: understand what helps or hinders the commissioning and provision of integrated services for people with long-term neurological conditions (LTNCs), identify models of best practice from the perspectives of people with LTNCs and the professionals who work with them, and develop a benchmarking system to assess the extent to which these models are available in England.

Design/methodology/approach: The research had three main components: a rapid systematic literature review of evidence, in-depth case studies of six neurology 'service systems', and a survey of all English PCTs to audit progress towards implementation of the National Service Framework (NSF) for LTNCs.

Findings: A number of elements that contribute to the experience of continuity and three service models that incorporate these elements were identified: community interdisciplinary neurological rehabilitation teams, nurse specialists and proactive, holistic day opportunities services. The survey results reinforced many of the case study findings, particularly around the varying levels of service available depending on diagnosis and location, and problems of access even where high-quality services existed. The paper concludes that the systematic approach to delivering treatment and care for people with LTNCs envisaged in the NSF has not yet been achieved.

Originality/value: This study uses a mix of methods to assess progress towards national service improvement, based on evidence from people with LTNCs and those who work with them. As such, it provides a comprehensive benchmark at a critical point in the implementation of the NSF for LTNCs.

    Research areas

  • continuity of care, neurological conditions, national service framework, HEALTH CARE, SOCIAL CARE

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