The Muscular Dystrophy Campaign is delighted to announce that a landmark new project will go ahead with funding support from the Department of Health of over £580,000 across three years to aim to secure neuromuscular service developments in the newly reformed NHS.
The project, ‘Bridging the gap’, will be focused around new regional neuromuscular forums which will bring together patients, clinicians and health professionals, and NHS commissioners, and will be set up alongside the existing Muscle Groups across the country.
The aim of these forums is to ensure that hospital trusts and the new local NHS ‘Area Teams’ are able to implement the neuromuscular section of the new ‘service specification’ document on Neurosciences which is currently being reviewed by the NHS Commissioning Board as a result of the consultation earlier this year.
The new project will include:
- tackling the potential gaps in specialist neuromuscular care which could develop as a result of NHS reforms, providing direct support to patients and their families living with rare, muscle wasting conditions
- development of a new website on which patients will be able to access a regional map of services to find out about clinics and local support services
- meetings and webinars to enable ongoing region-wide communication with patients, health professionals and commissioners in each of the regions
- focus on implementation of the recommendations of an audit, published in June 2012 and led by Professor Mike Hanna, reviewing unplanned emergency hospital admissions of adults and children with muscle-wasting conditions
Care and Support Minister, Norman Lamb MP, said:
I fully support the voluntary sector as it helps to shape health and care services locally.
Organisations like the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign can help to improve standards of care by working in partnership with the local NHS.
Nic Bungay, Director of Campaigns, Care and Information at the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign, commented:
This project is a very exciting opportunity to make sure that improvements to specialised neuromuscular services are regarded as a top priority for the NHS as the reforms take shape.
The Muscular Dystrophy Campaign has worked effectively and constructively with NHS commissioners and we look forward to the new neuromuscular forums having a powerful impact in ensuring that the required standards of specialist neuromuscular care are delivered and cost savings are made.
More news about the set-up of the neuromuscular forums will be publicised over the next few weeks but please get in touch on 020 7803 4839 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to know more about the project.