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Source: Social Democratic and Labour Party of Northern Ireland

SDLP Deputy Leader Nichola Mallon MLA has said that waiting times for a first neurology outpatient appointment are unacceptable for worried patients and overworked staff. The North Belfast MLA said that staff are working tirelessly to manage demand while also coping with the biggest patient recall in history.

She said:

“Neurology patients, people living with conditions like Parkinson’s disease, Motor Neurone disease or multiple sclerosis, should not be forced to endure the pain, worry and uncertainty of waiting over a year to be seen. That’s the cruel reality for over 11,000 people who understand the seriousness of their condition and desperately want to be seen and treated as quickly as possible. 

“These patients and the staff working in neurology units deserve better. Aside from the immense challenge of having almost 20,000 people on the neurology waiting list, doctors and nurses are trying their best to cope with the biggest patient recall in our history. It must feel overwhelming.

“We have had reviews of neurology services before. I have no doubt that the final report will reach similar conclusions with similar recommendations. They cannot be allowed to sit on a shelf gathering dust while real people suffer on hospital waiting lists. This is a scandal and we all have to commit to addressing it.”

MIL OSI United Kingdom