North West health
network wins national award for outstanding care
A group of NHS North West experts
have been awarded 'Network of Excellence' status for their care
of people with neuromuscular conditions.
Muscular Dystrophy UK, the charity for 70,000 people living with
muscle-wasting conditions, awarded the status to the North West Adult and
Paediatric Neuromuscular Network, which works with many of the estimated
8,000 people living with neuromuscular conditions in the North West.
Many muscle wasting conditions are rare and complex, meaning that
professional education is vital for making sure that people receive the
right treatment. The network, formed in 2006, was praised by the charity for
its events training professionals in the conditions. It has grown rapidly
since 2015 with new support staff, involvement from NHS England and more
professions joining the network, contributing to its new award status.
The network brings together staff from 7 organisations and is 1 of only
3 networks to receive the accolade from the charity.
It pools the skills of medical consultants with patient representatives,
physiotherapists, occupational therapists, psychologists, commissioners and
support staff to provide faster referrals, improved service and better
coordination for patients.
The network also supports community teams who work across the network to
ensure that they have the knowledge and support to care for people with
neuromuscular conditions close to home.
The status was awarded following a rigorous UK wide audit of neuromuscular
services by a panel of experts. The panel, chaired by geneticist Professor
Martin Bobrow, were particularly impressed by the network's focus on hosting
events for patients and health professionals across the region. The meetings
are welcomed by people living with neuromuscular conditions as a chance to
ask questions outside of often stressful clinic appointments.
Dr Esther Vasanth, from Manchester, has 2 adult sons with Becker muscular
dystrophy and said:- "The North West Neuromuscular Network is making a
difference to me and my family as they work together to increase the support
provided to people with muscle wasting conditions. The more support our
regional neuromuscular experts can provide to NHS decision makers and
community health professionals, the more we can see real improvements in our
care. The network's work is essential and this status is well deserved."
Dr Stefan Spinty, Network Clinical Lead, North West Adult and Paediatric
Neuromuscular Network and Consultant Paediatric Neurologist said:- "I
am delighted that the Northwest Adult and Paediatric Neuromuscular Network
has been recognised as a Network of Excellence. Founded more than ten years
ago, the network has brought together multidisciplinary healthcare
professionals involved in the care of and individuals affected by
neuromuscular disorders, charities and commissioners. Educational events
throughout the network over the years have been increasingly well attended
leading to significantly increased awareness about neuromuscular conditions,
their presentation, diagnosis and modern treatments. The North West
Neuromuscular Network will continue to work together to further improve
neuromuscular service provision in the North West. On behalf of the network
we would like to thank Muscular Dystrophy UK for their ongoing support."
Robert Meadowcroft, Chief Executive of Muscular Dystrophy UK said:-
"The North West is well deserving of becoming a Network of Excellence. The
8,000 people in the North West living with muscle wasting conditions have
specialist needs and the NHS staff working with them need to be fully up to
speed on how best to support them. The network's excellent knowledge sharing
approaches provide a model for other areas as they have put neuromuscular
care on the health agenda in the North West. The right specialist care
helps people to lead longer and less stressful lives, which is fantastic for
both patients and the NHS. The network has rapidly become invaluable in
providing the services and information that people need. We warmly
congratulate the excellent team for delivering such high standards and
expertise, and look forward to seeing what improvements to care it