5 July 2019

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals wins national award for outstanding care

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has been officially recognised as a Centre of Clinical Excellence by Muscular Dystrophy UK.

The Trust received its national award from Rob Burley, Director of Campaigns, Care and Support at Muscular Dystrophy UK at a special presentation ceremony held earlier this week (Tuesday 3 July).

During the visit, Rob Burley met with Dr Channa Hewamadduma, Consultant Neuromuscular Neurologist and representatives from the neuromuscular team from Sheffield Teaching Hospitals.

As well as being given a guided tour of the state-of-the-art facilities available to patients, Rob was given a demonstration of specialist neurophysiology investigations with nerve testing which are used to diagnose the condition. He also met with patients and saw patients having intravenous immune globulin treatment, a gold standard treatment for certain disorders of the muscles and nerves.

Since 2015, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals has treated over 1,000 patients with neuromuscular disorders such as muscular dystrophy, spinal atrophy, neuropathies, and neuromuscular junction disorders.

Neuromuscular disorders are caused by muscle wasting and nerve degeneration over a period of time. Whilst some disorders begin in infancy, others may become apparent in childhood or even adulthood. For many years, there was no cure or treatment for these potentially fatal conditions. However, recent advancements have improved quality of life and survival, and there have been promising developments in treatment, particularly with the discovery of new gene therapies and drugs which have improved the quality of patients’ lives.

Dr Channa Hewamadduma, Consultant Neuromuscular Neurologist at the neuromuscular team at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This is fantastic news for Sheffield, patients and the wider region. The adult neuromuscular service at the Royal Hallamshire and Northern General Hospital is a well-established, comprehensive, diagnostic and therapeutic service with a range of subspecialist interests in peripheral nerve, muscle and neuromuscular junction disorders. We are hoping to grow with a number of projects to increase research and further benefit patients. This award will galvanise the team to keep striving for excellence.”

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals was designated a Centre 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 Trust is now one of 17 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.

Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust was also presented with a Centre of Clinical Excellence Award.

Rob Burley, Director of Campaigns, Care and Support at Muscular Dystrophy UK 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.”

One patient to benefit from the expertise of the neuromuscular services team at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals is Jayne Small, from Rotherham. Jayne, 50, was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy four and a half years ago.

“The condition affects most of my body and I’m unable to walk unaided. I was in a bit of a dark place when I was first told there was something wrong with my muscles and I was struggling to understand and cope with the disease, but the team have really helped me with this. It may take me longer to do things, but I am now confident to do certain exercises, which help my condition and I understand the importance of it. The specialised physio team and support nurse have set up a support group where you can meet with other patients with muscular dystrophy every three months and I’ve had support with muscle exercises, information about muscular dystrophy and specialised advice.

“Because of my illness I struggle doing simple things, going up the stairs, getting out of chairs and getting up after a fall, but the team at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals have kept me going and I’ve been able to do things I wouldn’t have thought I’d be able to do. Thanks to the specialist support, I am able to cope better with daily life and can now look to the future more positively. Without them I wouldn’t be in the position I am today.”


Photos: The team with their award. Patient Jayne Small (far right) and patient Christine Raywood (centre) with Rob Burley (far left) and the team

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