Industry group forms to improve neurology care

Brain A new pharma industry group aims to work with healthcare providers to improve the standard of neurology services in the UK.

The Pharmaceutical Industry Neurology Group (PING) has four member companies – AbbVie, Biogen Idec, Genzyme and Novartis – and is open to new members.

The group will campaign for neurology to be a higher priority in both local and national NHS commissioning, and will seek to address the issues of poor integration and lack of expertise identified by public sector reports.

Immediate priorities for PING include addressing the lack of referrals and the fragmentation of services – both effects of current Department of Health policies.

The Public Accounts Committee report into services for people with neurological conditions in March 2012 said: “Co-ordination of care for individuals is poor, and there is a lack of integration between health and social services. There is still a lack of neurological expertise, both in hospitals and in the community, and access to services varies widely.”

A National Audit Office report in December 2011 raised similar concerns about the NHS care of people with long-term neurological conditions.

“Neurology services, in common with many specialised services, have been inconsistently provided across the UK,” commented Richard Lomas, Chair of PING and National Commissioning Manager for MS at Genzyme.

“I am delighted the group has come together to work towards the common goal of improving services for patients”.

Companies wishing to join or find out about PING can contact its secretariat at health@jmcinform.com.