Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust have been officially recognised as Centres of Clinical Excellence by Muscular Dystrophy UK at award ceremonies today.
The Trusts received their national awards from Rob Burley, Director of Campaigns, Care and Support at Muscular Dystrophy UK.
At Sheffield Children’s Hospital, Rob Burley was shown round the dedicated paediatric facilities and talked with members of the paediatric neuromuscular team and met with children and young adults affected by muscle-wasting conditions. The paediatric team were then presented with their award, accompanied with kind words by patients and parents who have experienced the service.
The multidisciplinary neuromuscular clinic at Sheffield Children’s was set up 20 years ago to provide care for children across South Yorkshire, North Derbyshire and Lincolnshire with nerve and muscle conditions such as muscular dystrophy, spinal muscular atrophy. The team includes neuromuscular doctors, a specialist neuromuscular physiotherapist and a specialist neuromuscular care adviser.
Rob Burley said: “We would like to congratulate the Sheffield hospitals which have both deservedly been awarded Centre of Clinical Excellence status.
“These Trusts provide comprehensive services for people with muscle-wasting conditions and promote best practice, ensuring patients have access to the best possible healthcare near where they live. Improved clinical care means faster access to treatments and potential cures.
“As the leading charity improving standards in muscle centres, we want to make sure everyone living with a muscle-wasting condition gets excellent care.”
Dr Min Ong, paediatric neurology consultant in the neuromuscular team at Sheffield Children’s, said: “We are delighted to receive recognition of excellence for the comprehensive neuromuscular service, which includes our pioneering plans for a multidisciplinary neuromuscular clinic day. This means we can work more coherently as a team across many specialties and get results on the same day to make our service more efficient for our patients and their families. We are further developing this to include specialised clinics for specific conditions.
“We are very proud about having a good running service to provide nusinersen intrathecally. This is a new drug for treatment of Spinal Muscular Atrophy and we are one of the bigger centres in UK running this service currently. Two of our patients receiving nusinersen were at the awards ceremony today and we heard kind words from their parents about their care here. This drug slows down the progression of the degenerative condition and has also been shown to improve muscle function and motor skills. Spinal muscular atrophy if left untreated has high mortality and morbidity. We are also a iSMAc (international Spinal muscular atrophy collaboration) centre, contributing to research into this condition.
“Treatment for neuromuscular conditions are rising changing the landscape of how we manage these conditions now. We are really pleased that in Sheffield Children’s Hospital the many specialties looking after children with neuromuscular conditions are working together well and trying their best to provided them excellent care enabling them to access these therapies and get the most in their life.”
John Somers, Chief Executive of Sheffield Children’s, staff from the team across the Trust supporting children within the neuromuscular service, patients and their parents attended the ceremony.
Sheffield Teaching Hospitals and Sheffield Children’s were both designated Centres of Clinical Excellence following a rigorous UK-wide audit of neuromuscular services by a panel of experts.
The audit was carried out to recognise high-quality care provided to people with muscle-wasting conditions – of which there are 70,000 in the UK. The Sheffield services are now one of 16 neuromuscular centres in the UK given the status. The award recognises excellence across a range of criteria, including the care received by patients, and helps to drive up the standards of clinical support for people with muscle-wasting conditions.