Please allow me to assure you that research, ensuring early diagnosis, and providing support are the Government’s key priorities for helping those living with MND.
I am encouraged that the Government has recently committed at least £50 million over the next five years to MND research, and I welcome the commitment to launch a National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) led Research Unit which will coordinate research applications for this funding. This unit is backed by £4 million and is co-funded by the NIHR, UK Research and Innovation, Life Arc, MND Association and My Name’5 Doddie Foundation. This coordinated funding commitment will accelerate progress across the UK to find better treatments for MND, and give people living with the condition the chance of a better quality of life, and more good years with their loved ones.
With early diagnosis key to treating the symptoms of MND, I am glad that the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published clear guidelines for clinicians on the assessment and management of MND. These set out the signs and symptoms of the disease, and recommend that patients suspected of having MND should be referred without delay. The Royal College of GPs and the MND Association have also worked together to produce a ‘Red Flag Tool’ which sets out key signs of MND to help GPs to identify suspected cases and ensure prompt referral.
I believe it is important that care is as accessible as possible, and I am glad that the recent Spending Review committed £2.3 billion in funding for at least 100 community diagnostic centres across England alongside a broader £44 billion uplift in NHS funding before the end of this Parliament. This will help all those who live with MND access the care they need.