Community care: improving knowledge of muscle-wasting conditions

Muscular Dystrophy UK’s work to support health professionals working in the community to better support individuals and families living with muscle-wasting conditions has led to nearly 5,000 professionals being upskilled in the last four years.

Our campaign to improve community care is in partnership with health professionals and people living with muscle-wasting conditions who often tell us community professionals need more support. These professionals include nurses, physiotherapists and occupational therapists.

We are supporting these professionals via three different areas of work:

  • In the last four years we have held 44 neuromuscular study days across the UK. These events are often a day long and feature specialist health professionals and Muscular Dystrophy UK presenting specialist knowledge on neuromuscular conditions to community health professionals to help them to feel better equipped to support individuals and families.
  • We have launched our GP E Learning module to ensure GPs are able to recognise the key signs of neuromuscular conditions when they present. The module is a short course created in partnership with the Royal College of General Practitioners designed to ensure GPs have a basic knowledge of conditions that they will rarely see in their day-to-day work.
  • We have launched an E Learning module to support physiotherapists working with adults living with muscle-wasting conditions. The module is an ongoing resource available to physiotherapists to reference whenever they are seeing someone with a muscle-wasting condition. The course supports physiotherapists on topics such as exercise, orthotics, ans stretches.

Dr Sheonad Laidlaw a GP from Glasgow who has two daughters with spinal muscular atrophy said:

We GPs need to know when and where to refer patients with muscle-wasting conditions and be confident managing acute complications, such as respiratory infections. These conditions are life-limiting and the individuals affected deserve the best quality of life possible through good holistic care.

Next steps

  • We will be continuing to work with health professionals as well as individuals and families to promote our E-Learning modules and ensure they reach as many GPs and physiotherapists as possible
  • We are in the process of planning and holding more neuromuscular study days across the UK, if you would like to support us with this please get in touch
  • In 2018 we will be launching a new E-Learning module focused on supporting physiotherapists working with children living with muscle-wasting conditions. This module will have a focus on supporting physiotherapists to undertake best-practice assessments and input data into databases such as NorthStar
  • In 2018 we also plan to launch another new E-Learning module for allied health professionals. This module will support occupational therapists, wheelchair services, education professionals and nurses.

If you would like to help us promote any of this work or get involved please get in touch with Lloyd Tingley on l.tingley@musculardystorphyuk.org or on 020 7803 4804.

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