A HUGE disparity in the level of treatment available for Scots with brain conditions such as Parkinson's is today revealed.

A new report, published by NHS Healthcare Improvement Scotland, shows people with neurological conditions are facing widely varying levels in the services they are able to access, depending on their diagnosis, their age and where they live in the country.

The charity Parkinson's UK yesterday warned that people with neurological conditions in Scotland face being subject to similar mistakes that occurred in England despite being forewarned by studies south of the Border where improvements are being introduced.

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The charity has called on the NHS in Scotland to learn from England's failures, after the report showed none of Scotland's 14 health boards could meet all of the health service's standards for neurological care.

Parkinson's UK said in many parts of Scotland, people are not able to access the services they need to manage their condition.

The standards cover a range of aspects of care from ensuring that NHS boards provide people with adequate access to specialists and clear treatment plans.

Across Scotland, NHS boards are currently meeting only 100 of the 224 standards against which they are assessed. For Parkinson's, boards are only meeting 13 of the 28 assessment categories. Some boards were unable to show people with Parkinson's could access the full range of healthcare professionals they need, and others failed to show timing and dosage of medication were being followed correctly.

NHS Greater Glasgow (and Clyde (NHSGCC) met 10 out of 16 assessments, including access to specialist epilepsy services, with access to specialist motor neurone disease services among those not met. The report said NHSGCC "demonstrated highly effective use of resources" but it should "confirm plans to ensure the sustainability of improvement work".

NHS Lothian met six out of 16 assessments and it was told to "strengthen engagement and team working between clinical and managerial staff, and address training requirements in epilepsy identified by primary care colleagues".

NHS Lanarkshire and NHS Highland both failed to meet 13 of the 16 assessment categories while NHS Dumfries and Galloway met all but three.

Parkinson's UK fears the situation could get worse and claims the Scottish Government has refused to commit additional funding to help boards develop their services.

The charity believes NHS Scotland risks duplicating errors that resulted in criticism of the NHS in England in recent reports from the National Audit Office and Public Accounts Committee, where a lack of national leadership and local accountability has allowed standards of care for neurological conditions to deteriorate.

Katherine Crawford, Scotland manager for Parkinson's UK, said: "People living with Parkinson's and other neurological conditions regularly find themselves at the bottom of the Government's 'to do' list and this new report shows that too often health boards are simply unable to provide people living with these conditions access to the support and information they need.

"Parkinson's UK wants the Scottish Government and NHS in Scotland to provide the missing leadership, accountability and scrutiny."

A Scottish Government spokesman insisted it is working towards ending the disparity, adding: "Our top priority is to ensure the neurological standards are implemented. The Scottish Government has provided the Neurological Alliance of Scotland with £40,000, to establish a national advisory group, which we hope will oversee and support boards as they take their improvement plans forward."