Dr Sheonad Laidlaw and her family
Dr Sheonad Laidlaw and her family

Together with the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP), we have created the first ever online course for GPs on the presentation and management of neuromuscular conditions in primary care.

The new training module, which has been developed by a group of neuromuscular clinical experts, people with muscle-wasting conditions, Muscular Dystrophy UK’s Bridging the Gap team and GPs, includes important information in an easy-to-use format.

The course will help GPs have a better understanding of their role in the management of neuromuscular conditions. It will also help them recognise the key moments when a patient needs to be referred to a specialist neuromuscular service.

The course can be accessed and taken via the Royal College of General Practitioners website here.

About neuromuscular disorders

Neuromuscular disorders are rare and many general practitioners will have very few patients with these conditions. However, people affected by muscle-wasting conditions know that their GP plays an important role in their care.

In 2013 our State of the Nation report found that nearly half of those surveyed felt their GP did not understand their muscle-wasting condition well enough to put in place the right support for them. And two out of five patients felt that their GP did not understand their condition sufficiently to refer them to the appropriate specialists.

A delayed diagnosis of a neuromuscular condition can be particularly devastating for families and can also mean that people are not able to access the optimum care at the earliest opportunity. It also prevents families from adapting and planning ahead from an early stage.

Muscular Dystrophy UK hopes that our new course will lead to more people getting faster referrals to neuromuscular specialists. Earlier diagnosis will ensure families get access to the therapeutic approaches currently in clinical trial or development.

About the course

This new training module, which is hosted on the Royal College of General Practitioners e-learning training website, only takes an hour to complete. It is worth one accredited continued professional development point. The course is also free to GPs who are members of the Royal College.

After completing this course, GPs will be able to:

  • Understand the spectrum of neuromuscular disease
  • Identify the key presenting features of the more common neuromuscular diseases
  • Describe management, including the importance of multi-disciplinary care.

We are working hard with the RCGP to ensure as many GPs as possible are made aware of this course.

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

Although neuromuscular disorders are rare, and many GPs will have very few patients with these conditions throughout our careers, we play an important role in identifying and supporting the 70,000 people in the UK who live with a muscle-wasting condition. We need to know when and where to refer these patients and be confident in 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. This course will help GPs recognise and manage some of the more common neuromuscular diseases.”

To find out about the GP e-learning module, contact Bobby Ancil on 07920188970 or at b.ancil@musculardystrophyuk.org.

Keep in touch