Lords debates helping people with neurological conditions

09 December 2011

Members of the Lords, including the Vice-President of the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign, debated the support currently available for people with neurological conditions on Thursday 8 December

Lord Dubs (Labour), tabled and opened the debate. He has a strong interest in the field as a member of his own family has multiple sclerosis. He started with an introduction to disability in general and went on to mention some specific neurological conditions, calling for a 'national strategy for neurology'.

Baroness Thomas of Winchester (Liberal Democrat), Vice-President of the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign spoke of support for conditions with care advisors and nurses: 'Neuromuscular conditions are progressive, so it is essential for patients to receive ongoing input from a co-ordinated multidisciplinary team of specialist health professionals to manage changing symptoms, to reduce complications and to provide expert advice on equipment and treatments.'

Baroness Hollins (Crossbench), former President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, drew on her experience as a doctor working with disabled people for 30 years and spoke of attending to the needs of patients with spinal cord injuries.  

Lord Macdonald of Tradeston (Labour) is a patron of the Dystonia Society and raised awareness of the condition in his speech: 'Dystonia is unusual in that it is not degenerative, but it is also not curable, so people with dystonia often have to live with its disabling symptoms for 40 to 50 years or more. It is therefore essential that they receive treatment that effectively mitigates their symptoms. This can make the difference between a lifetime of disability, relying on others for care and benefits, or a life of economic independence, actively contributing to society.'  

Earl Howe (Conservative) responded on behalf of the government and concluded: 'Change is needed, and through the health reforms currently progressing through this House we want to ensure that we have health outcomes that are among the very best in the world.'

Further information

Members of the public can attend House of Lords debates and follow proceedings from the public gallery.

Image: iStockphoto

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