South East Healthwatches come together to respond to parliamentary report ‘Condemned to Silence’

29th January 2015

Four South East Healthwatch organisations have come together to make a joint media response to the report published today entitled ‘Condemned to Silence’ which highlights the experiences of patients with Motor Neurone Disease.

The parliamentary report shows that patients; particularly in Surrey & Sussex, have experienced unacceptable delays in accessing speech aides.  These delays have been caused by issues around the contracts meaning patients are unable to be assessed and vital equipment is therefore not being supplied.

Francis Russell from Healthwatch West Sussex talking on behalf of all the local Healthwatches said, “We have listened to the concerns of MND patients in the South East and we are particularly concerned to hear about the challenges these patients are experiencing in trying to get the speech aides that they so badly need.  We are calling on NHS England to rectify this situation immediately and to ensure additional funding is in place to support the back log of patients.  We will continue to speak to patients and monitor this situation. “

“We would encourage all patients with MND who are experiencing difficulties in receiving speech aides to get in touch with their local Healthwatches.”

People can contact Healthwatch Surrey by calling 0303 303 0023, via text 07592 787533, through the website or by visiting any of the Citizens Advice Bureaux in Surrey.