October 2016 | Deireadh Fómhair 2016

Mater Neurologist Develops National Framework for Model of Care in Neurology

Tue, 4 October 16 11:41

A new model of care for neurological services in Ireland developed by Prof Tim Lynch (consultant neurologist and UCD Full Clinical Professor) was launched by HSE Director General, Mr Tony O’Brien at the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital.  Mr O’Brien was joined by Dr Aine Carroll, HSE National Director for Clinical Programs, a number of patients, past and present, who have suffered from neurological conditions.

The publication of a new “Model of Care for the National Clinical Programme of Neurology” was developed by Prof Tim Lynch who is Clinical Lead in the National Clinical Programme for Neurology and aims to define the future set up of acute and chronic neurological services in Ireland.  It aims to have such services delivered in an efficient, equitable and cost effective manner by supported, skilled, professionals working in a multidisciplinary manner using a person-centred approach to care.

Over 700,000 people in Ireland have a neurological illness which accounts for one in five acute medical admissions, with one in eight patient attendances to a general practitioner.  Many of these brain, spinal, nerve and muscle disorders are increasingly treatable but access to diagnosis and treatment in Ireland presents a challenge.

The HSE, working in close partnership with the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland, have launched the new Model of Care for Neurological Services in Ireland which was developed by the many  professional groups working with patient support groups.

Tony O’Brien, HSE Director General said,

“This model of care for neurology is a blueprint for the future set up of both acute and chronic neurological care services for Ireland.  In agreeing this Model of Care for Neurology in the Irish health services, the National Clinical Programme has focused on where we can take concerted and specific actions, at all levels of the health service, to improve the management of neurology diseases. The plan supports us to capitalise on our influence, our governance and decision-making, and our powerful workforce, to improve care for persons living with neurological conditions.”

Patients with neurological conditions need access to services from all areas of the health service - acute hospitals, mental health, social care, primary care and health and wellbeing via an integrated approach. The National Clinical Programme for Neurology aims to provide equitable access to a high quality service to provide accurate diagnosis, appropriate treatment, and management for all neurological conditions. We aim for excellence in neurology care and the best outcome for our patients.

The Model of Care for Neurology provides a framework for neurology services using international best practice and describes care provision using an integrated service approach. It covers the full spectrum of care provided in hospitals (in-patient & out-patient) and makes specific recommendations to the  type of care  considered best practice in the management of patients  with long term neurological conditions in the community.

“Integrated care is an approach characterised by a high degree of collaboration and communication among health care professionals and the people they care for. The model of care for Neurology, which is being launched today, reflects the principles of integrated care, with doctors, nurses, health & social care professions, patients, families and patient organisations working together in a collaborative way to improve the patient journey for those with neurological conditions. I want to thank the National Clinical Programme for Neurology for leading on this excellent piece of work”,

said Dr Aine Carroll, HSE National Director for Clinical Programs.

Prof Tim Lynch, National Clinical Lead for Neurology said,

“The brain is the most important organ of the body and we need to encourage understanding and approaches to brain health in Ireland. This model of care is intended to ensure we provide excellent care for patients with neurological illness and also to stimulate teaching of and research into clinical neurology. There is no medicine like hope. We hope we will give hope to people with neurological illness with the publication and implementation of this model of care.”


About Prof Tim Lynch

Prof Tim Lynch is consultant neurologist at the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital and Beaumont Hospital, UCD Full Clinical Professor at the UCD School of Medicine and Director of the Dublin Neurological Institute.  Prof Lynch is a Royal College of Surgeons medical graduate from 1984 and a UCD BSc Pharmacology graduate from 1986. He trained in clinical medicine initially in the Richmond Hospital and subsequently Beaumont Hospital, the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital before doing one year of paediatric neurology in Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children, Crumlin.

In 1990 Prof Lynch moved to New York and spent eight years at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Centre/Columbia University initially doing a residency in neurology under the supervision of Prof Lewis P Rowland before spending a two-year Fellowship in Movement Disorders & Genetics of Neurodegeneration under the supervision of Prof Stanley Fahn. During his Fellowship Prof Lynch developed an interest in Genetics of Movement Disorders and Neurodegeneration doing early linkage analysis and gene cloning. Prof Lynch returned to Ireland in 1998 to take up the post as Consultant Neurologist at the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital.

He studied an Irish-American family with frontotemporal dementia, Parkinsonism and Amyotrophy. Prof Lynch and Wilhelmsen published seminal papers on Frontotemporal Dementia Syndrome linked to chromosome 17. Prof Lynch then helped to form collaboration with the Mayo Clinic, Washington University, St Louis and Maastricht University resulting in cloning the tau gene for Frontotemporal Dementia linked to chromosome 17 in a number of pedigrees. This paper was published in Nature in 1998. He has developed the Department of Neurology at the MMUH setting up a Movement Disorder Clinic, a Multiple Sclerosis Clinic, a Migraine and Headache Clinic, a Deep Brain Stimulation Clinic, a Stroke Unit culminating in the opening of the Dublin Neurological Institute at the MMUH in September 2008. He was appointed Professor of Neurology, University College Dublin in 2007 and Director of the Dublin Neurological Institute in 2008. Prof Lynch has published over eighty articles in peer-reviewed journals on the genetics of Parkinson’s disease, neurodegeneration and other movement disorders. He collaborates with research groups at the Mayo Clinic, US, University College London, National Institute of Health, US and Conway Institute, University College Dublin. His main research interest includes Parkinson’s disease, movement disorders, genetics of Parkinson’s disease and Parkinsonism, genetics of atypical dementia and the genetics of multiple sclerosis.