MUSCULAR Dystrophy UK, the leading charity for more than 110,000 children and adults in the UK living with one of over 60 muscle wasting and weakening conditions, has announced the recipients of its prestigious Centre of Excellence awards.
In total 24 neuromuscular centres across the UK have been recognised for providing outstanding care, promoting best practices locally and nationally and demonstrating their commitment to improving health and care for people living with muscle wasting and weakening conditions.
The information gathered through the awards process provides a benchmark of neuromuscular services across all centres that took part in the audit. This will help centres in their efforts to build business cases for additional NHS investment in core services.
David Gale, 40, was diagnosed with Becker muscular dystrophy in 1988 aged five. He is a patient at the John Walton Muscular Dystrophy Research Centre, Newcastle Upon Tyne who have just been acknowledged with a Centre of Excellence award.
“Since my diagnosis at a young age to now being 40, I’ve always received excellent support from the experts at the centre. I can contact anyone with a query and confidently know I’ll get a prompt answer, with any support being second to none. Hearing the centre has been awarded a Muscular Dystrophy UK Centre of Excellence award is fantastic.
“Thanks to everyone involved for their continued support of the neuromuscular community. Long may it continue. It really does make a difference to those living with a muscle weakening or wasting condition.”
Catherine Woodhead, Chief Executive of Muscular Dystrophy UK, said:
“We would like to congratulate all centres that have been recognised with a Centre of Excellence award after a robust and rigorous assessment of their service by leading neuromuscular experts and members of the muscle wasting and weakening community. Despite continuing pressures and challenges within the NHS, these centres strive every day to ensure they promote best practices and provide an exemplary service.
“The findings from our Centre of Excellence awards demonstrate that many centres continue to require investment to develop specialist multi-disciplinary teams that can provide the best care possible along with a working environment that fosters the ability to conduct or support excellent research and clinical trials to advance treatments and other scientific progress. That’s why we’re calling on commissioners to include requirements for the provision of the recommended standards of neuromuscular care.”
Muscular Dystrophy UK’s Centres of Excellence awards take place every three years. The audit is overseen by the charity’s Services Development Committee, and an independent sub-committee of neuromuscular health professionals and people with lived experience of neuromuscular conditions. The audit reviews information, a range of case studies and examples of best practices as well as assessing the way neuromuscular services are organised and how people using the services can access them.
Dr Helen Roper, retired consultant paediatrician at Birmingham Heartlands Hospital and Chair of Muscular Dystrophy UK’s Centre of Excellence awards Sub-Committee said:
“I’m grateful to all expert members, as well as our volunteer auditors, who’ve generously given their time and shared their clinical expertise to help ensure that all participating centres are robustly assessed.
“This has enabled us to have a wide picture of the provision of clinical care and research capacity at neuromuscular centres across the UK, including allowing us to identify the pressures and barriers centres face in providing the best practice of care. I look forward to seeing advancement in neuromuscular care for everyone living with a muscle wasting and weakening condition, with the support of Muscular Dystrophy UK as a leading patient organisation in the sector.”
For further information on Muscular Dystrophy UK’s Centre of Excellence awards visit: musculardystrophyuk.org/centreofexcellenceawards.