The Wessex Regional Muscle and Nerve service (WERMANS) provides a comprehensive specialist service for neuromuscular disorders for the population of Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire, West Sussex, Isle of Wight, the Channel Islands and beyond.
The adult service is based in the Wessex Neurological Centre at Southampton General Hospital, using the ward and outpatient facilities. The paediatric neuromuscular service is based in the paediatric wards and outpatient facilities.
How to access the service
The neuromuscular team see patients following referral from another practitioner, such as a GP, rheumatologist or neurologist. Normally patients are seen in outpatients for assessment.
In assessment, patients may be asked details of the onset of the problem and a family history may also help clinical assessment. If other members of the family have a similar disorder then detailed information may be of value. Diagnosis may require clinical examination of nerves and muscles.
Referrals to the service are for many reasons, including advice on diagnosis of a new neuromuscular problem. Some people living with established neuromuscular disorders require reassessment, further advice or monitoring. A patient can be referred by either a GP or consultant, where they will be referred to either Doctor Simon Hammans or Doctor Georgina Burke.
To contact the centre out of hours the main hospital number can be called and the on-call neurological consultant can be requested.
Main contact number:
023 8120 8691
Dr Simon Hammans
Dr Hammans is a consultant neurologist based at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust and has been supporting families affected by neuromuscular conditions in the region for over 20 years. He runs clinics in General Neurology and also a regional specialist clinic in Neuromuscular disease and Neurogenetics.
Dr Wojtek Rakowicz
Dr Rakowicz is a consultant neurologist based at NHS Hampshire Foundation Trust. He specialises in neuromuscular disorders (including motor neurone disease, peripheral neuropathy, myasthenia gravis, muscle diseases). He runs clinics at Andover War Memorial Hospital, Royal Hampshire County Hospital and Southampton General Hospital.
Dr Neil Thomas
Dr Thomas is a consultant paediatric neurologist at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust and has run the paediatric neuromuscular service since 1993. He is clinical lead for paediatric neurology at Southampton and runs a number of general neurology clinics as well.
Dr Georgina Burke
Dr Burke is a consultant neurologist at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust who specialises in neurology, neuromuscular and muscle disease. She provides a neurology service to Portsmouth and runs a specialist neuromuscular and muscle disease clinic in Southampton.
Dr Ashwin Pinto
Dr Pinto is a consultant neurologist at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust specialising in myasthenia gravis and motor neurone disease.
Dr Haider Katifi
Dr Katifi has been a consultant neurologist at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust since 1992.
Sunitha Narayan is a neuromuscular care advisor based with the Wessex Neurological Centre at Southampton General Hospital. Sunitha has a background in neuromuscular physiotherapy and supports adults with neuromuscular conditions from across Wessex. She helps provide practical and emotional support for families affected by muscular dystrophy and related neuromuscular conditions. Get in touch with Sunitha by E: firstname.lastname@example.org or T: 0779 8667784.
Other key people in the team include:
- Dr. Dirk Baumer , Neuromuscular Fellow
- Dr. David Allen , Consultant Neurophysiologist
- Dr. Rama Arunachalam , Consultant Neurophysiologist
- Dr. Mark Walker , Consultant Neuropathologist
- Dr. Ingrid Mazant , Consultant Neuropathologist
- Dr Caroline Hutchings , Consultant in Rehabilitation Medicine
- Dr. Jane Wilkinson , Consultant in Respiratory Medicine
- Dr. Anastasios Lekkas , Consultant in Respiratory Medicine
- Dr. Jonathan Daecon , Consultant in Respiratory Medicine
- Dr. Kayode Adeniji , Consultant in Respiratory Medicine
- Sarah Ewles , Specialist Respiratory Physiotherapist
- Matthew Quint , Specialist Respiratory Physiotherapist
- Adult Neuromuscular clinics
- Joint Neurogenetics clinic
- Paediatric multidisciplinary clinic with physiotherapy assessment and occupational therapy review
- Muscular dystrophies
- Congenital myopathies
- Spinal muscualar atrophy
- Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease and other peripheral neuropathies
- Guillain Barre syndrome