Published: 17/03/2005, Volume II5, No. 5947 Page 8

Older people's czar Professor Ian Philp has been recruited to add his weight alongside social care czar Kathryn Hudson, to the government's last national service framework before the election.

The NSF focuses on improving services for the 10 million people with long-term neurological conditions such as motor-neurone disease, Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis.

It has been cautiously welcomed by the alliance of voluntary organisations and unions that helped to frame the document, but some have criticised the government for failing to provide extra resources or staffing targets to support the recommendations.

Sue Ryder Care healthcare director Stephen Collinson, whose organisation is commissioned by primary care trusts to provide services for people with neurological conditions, said Sue Ryder was£7m in the red last year alone because PCTs couldn't afford to fund its services to the level required.