2018 sees the launch of our latest MasterClass programme for headache and migraine. Headache disorders place a huge demand on NHS resources and despite publication of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) Clinical Guideline and Quality Standards on Headache in 2012 and 2013 there are still significant rates of misdiagnosis and mismanagement of people living with headache disorders.

A fundamental lack of understanding about the true cost of headache on a personal, societal and NHS level means that health economies fail to prioritise this manageable, and sometimes preventable, problem. Inequality of access to specialist headache clinics, and barriers to accessing appropriate recommended treatments, mean that people living with headache disorders are denied supportive management.

The need for greater awareness of the problem through headache-specific data collection and analysis, coupled with improved education of health professionals could support commissioners to improve access to services. This is why the Neurology Academy’s next priority area for work is a Migraine & Headache Academy MasterClass programme.

We kick off our involvement with the launch of a Headache Insight Report developed in conjunction with NHS Digital data providers Wilmington Healthcare, and in February we will be holding a roundtable event to look at the issues of headache management and service commissioning with an expert advisory group. This will inform the Migraine & Headache Academy’s educational programme for 2018.

Dr Giles Elrington, Barts Health NHS Trust, is the Academic Director of this latest Academy programme and attendees at the roundtable event include NHS commissioners, neurologists, specialist headache nurses and NHS RightCare representatives. We will be reporting on the outputs of this meeting via the website.

 Headache disorder facts

  • 1 in 7 people in the UK experience migraine
  • the condition being more prevalent in women, who are three times more likely than men to have the problem.
  • There are over 190,000 migraine attacks daily in the UK
  • It is estimated that 2% of the world’s population suffer from chronic migraine, a greater prevalence than that of diabetes. (The Migraine Trust, 2017)
  • Migraine has been identified as the second biggest cause of short-term absence from work
  • Estimated to cost the UK economy is £2.5 billion annually
  • An average of 25 million days are taken off work per year (Migraine Action, 2017).

70% of respondents were unaware that migraine can also be classed as a disability, and 60% of respondents did not feel their employers understood the condition (The Migraine Trust, 2017). This appears to indicate a lack of wider understanding of migraine and we hope to support better care in 2018.

Contact us to receive Migraine & Headache Academy updates.

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