The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on people living with neurological disorders and has posed various challenges for healthcare services across Europe, with neurology services being no exception. Essential services, including those of patient organisations, were interrupted and chronic illnesses were deprioritised in face of the COVID-19 emergency. Patients, caregivers and healthcare professionals have all had to experience disruptions and changes in treatment and care, impacting the daily lives of millions of people. Moreover, the pandemic response saw a real lack of patient engagement and involvement. The neurology patient voice needs to be systematically embedded on every level – from healthcare delivery to policy and decision-making as we move out of this crisis.
This report summarises evidence gathered from organisations across the European neurology community about the impact of COVID-19 on people living with neurological disorders in Europe. It shows how care pathways for the neurology patient community were reconfigured during the early waves of the pandemic and makes key recommendations that policymakers and decision-makers should follow in order to ensure that any future changes to service delivery are made in the interests of patients and those affected by neurological disorders- rather than, solely, in the interests of the healthcare system.