Brain Awareness Week 13th March – 20th March
Neurorehabilitation Teams are required in every area of the country to provide the necessary care and support to those with neurological conditions according to Fine Gael’s Health Spokesperson, Colm Burke TD.
Cork North Central TD Colm Burke was speaking following a presentation by the Neurological Alliance of Ireland (NAI) that he hosted in Leinster House to coincide with Brain Awareness Week
Deputy Burke said “The NAI brings together 30 non-profit organisations to advocate for the rights of 800,000 people in Ireland living with a neurological condition, including the urgent need for community neurorehabilitation teams in seven of the nine Community Healthcare Organisations (CHOs).
“There are currently only two community neurorehabilitation teams in Ireland, despite nine teams being required as outlined in the Implementation Framework (2019-2021) for the National Neurorehabilitation Strategy. This means that only 15% of neurological patients in Ireland have access to teams that provide vital care to support their recovery.”
The Neurological Alliance delivered a comprehensive briefing on the need for further action in the area of neurorehabilitation Teams to TDs and Senators.
It is estimated by the NAI that up to 42,000 bed days could be saved nationwide each year if the recommended network of nine community neurorehabilitation teams was in place for patients with neurological conditions ranging from acquired brain injury to progressive neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease. Community neurorehabilitation teams play a vital role in reducing length of stay and delayed discharge for neurological patients.
Deputy Burke added: “It is my understanding that funding this year has been set aside for the facilities in CHOs 2 and 4, which includes Cork. This is hugely positive but we must ensure that it is delivered in a timely manner and that we extend these facilities to the entire country.
“The expectation is that there would be a saving of 42,000 bed days if we had a neurorehabilitation team in each of the CHO areas. A person spends an average of 13.6 days in hospital as a result of not having access to teams in their areas.
“I raised this matter with the Minister for Health in the Dáil on Thursday and he has assured me that real progress has begun and it is intended that this will continue. In my role as a public representative, I will continue to raise this matter and lobby to ensure that neurorehabilitation teams are available to all areas of the country,” concluded Deputy Burke.