Individuals with headache and migraine are expected to benefit from improved diagnosis and care as part of the NHS Long Term Plan.
An estimated 10 million individuals aged 15-69 years in the UK suffer from migraines. There has been a 14 per cent rise in the number of hospital admissions for headaches and migraines in England over the last five years. Headaches and migraines account for approximately 2.5 million primary care appointments, of which 100,000 are referred to hospitals for further evaluation. NHS spends around £150 million and £250 million annually on care for migraines and headaches, respectively.
Owing to these concerning statistics, the NHS is releasing a new toolkit to assist local health groups in providing better services to patients and saving costs and staff time which can be reinvested in better care.
The 'NHS RightCare Headache and Migraine Toolkit' developed by experts at the NHS and the Neurological Alliance could prevent up to 16,500 emergency hospital admissions each year. The key components of the toolkit are as follows:
- Improving identification and diagnosis of headache disorders in primary care settings;
- Supporting better decision-making on referring patients to hospital;
- Educating patients regarding self-management; and
- Individualised long-term care and treatment, including medication.