COVID-19 Updates

Important information on coronavirus

The Scottish Government has updated its guidance on shielding since lockdown was re-introduced in Scotland on the 5th January 2021. This is specifically for those who have been on a shielding list and remains in place until the end of January when it will be reviewed. Click here to read the information.

Concerns about access to vaccination for people with neurological conditions

On the 12th February 2021, we wrote to the Cabinet Secretary on the back of some of our concerns that people with neurological conditions may have been wrongly refused vaccination.

The CMO issued a response on the 9th March to confirm that all patients under 65 years with a neurological condition who were initially refused a vaccine should now be vaccinated. Work is underway to identify anyone in this group who was not vaccinated, and to re-issue vaccine invites to them. You can read the CMO's letter here.

Covid vaccine update from the Association of British Neurologists

On 10th January 2021, the Association of British Neurologists published a paper on guidance on covid vaccinations for those with neurological conditions.

The paper states that all covid vaccines are safe and that none of the vaccines are live, therefore they cannot cause infection. In general, other than for severely allergic people, there is no good reason to be worried about vaccination.

Click here to read the report

For people with neurological conditions and carers

If you have a neurological condition or care for someone who does you may be concerned about how the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak will affect you. We are regularly updating our coronavirus information in response to new announcements and events. This information which was published by the Scottish Government in November 2020 for those with neurological conditions remains relevant.

Please see our general information on coronavirus for people with a neurological condition and carers. This includes links to sources of condition-specific information and information on handwashing for people whose condition makes this more difficult.

For neurological charities

If you are a charity supporting people with neurological conditions, the coronavirus outbreak will also affect you. We want to help to bring neurological charities together in Scotland at this time.

Please see our information summary for neurological charities. This includes information about what we are doing to support neurological charities including details of recent meetings, writing to Ministers and MSPs, and reporting on the issues that are facing the neurological community in Scotland.

It also includes links to sources of emergency funding including the £20m Third Sector Resilience Fund for charities, community groups, social enterprises and voluntary organisations working in Scotland, and the £33m available through the Wellbeing Fund announced on 13 April 2020.

The Association of British Neurologists has published - and is regularly revising - guidance on COVID-19 and neurological conditions.

Read our report on the impact of lockdown on people with neurological conditions

On 24 June, we published a report based on feedback from our member charities about how the coronavirus lockdown is affecting people with neurological conditions in Scotland.

Neurological Voices: Living through lockdown presents hard-hitting data and personal reflections from across the neurological community in Scotland, and calls for action on common issues:

Other information

This is an exciting time for the neurological community in Scotland. Scotland’s first five year plan for neurological conditions - Neurological Care and Support in Scotland: A Framework for Action 2020 - 2025 - was published in December 2019. There is a detailed implementation plan to follow in early 2020, and there are new standards for neurological care in Scotland.

Round 2 funding closed on 1st March 2021 and the initial list of successful projects is available here

Further to our collaboration meeting held on 13th January 2021, we produced a short googleform for people seeking collaboration to enter their proposed bids. We will summarise the information into a PDF on this website as soon as a small number of proposed bids have been entered.

Our first policy group meeting was held on 24th February 2021, chaired by Colette McDiarmid from MND Scotland. Items for the agenda were submitted by members in advance and picked by the Chair for discussion at the meeting. To read the summary of the meeting click here.

Our second policy group meeting was held on 14 April 2021, chaired by Alistair Haw of Scottish Huntington's Association. To read the summary of the meeting, click here.

Scottish Government and health and social care bodies

The Neurological Alliance of Scotland represents neurological charities on a range of groups and projects. Some of the most important projects that are happening at the moment are:

National Advisory Committee on Neurological Conditions (NACNC)

This is the Scottish Government’s advisory group on neurological policies. It includes NHS and social care professionals and managers, third sector professionals, people with neurological conditions and carers. The chair and vice chair represent the Alliance on the NACNC.

Visit the National Advisory Committee's webpage.

NHS HIS General Standards on Neurological Care and Support

These Standards were developed by NHS Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS). They are a guide for those from health, social care and the third sector who support people living with neurological conditions, to demonstrate that they are delivering high quality services.

The Standards were published in March 2019. Read the Standards.

Scottish Access Collaborative Neurology Specialty Group

This is part of a major collaborative project to sustainably improve NHS waiting times for non-emergency procedures in Scotland. Stephanie Fraser sits on this on behalf of the Alliance.

Read the Neurology Specialty group webpage.

Managed Service Network (MSN) on Neurosurgery

This body provides the strategic leadership and co-ordinates activities across the four adult and two child neurosurgery units in Scotland to form a single neurosurgery service for Scotland. Tanith Muller and Andy Wynd sit on the Neurosurgery MSNC on behalf of the Alliance.

Visit the MSN website.

Our members’ work

Members of the Neurological Alliance of Scotland are extremely active. Take a look at some of the reports, projects and other items of interest that they have produced recently. Please contact us if you want to share your organisation’s work here.