Northern Ireland news

Call for boost to Motor Neurone Disease care services at Stormont report launch

A report on the provision of care in the north was launched yesterday at Stormont by the MND Association. Picture: MND Northern Ireland
Paul Ainsworth

A CHARITY helping around 100 people living with motor neurone disease in the north have appealed for a more "consistent" approach for services across health trust areas.

The Motor Neuron Disease (MND) Association's NI branch launched its report on provision of care at Stormont yesterday, and told attendees that many sufferers are faced with long journeys for treatment as the only clinic available is in the Belfast trust area.

The report found that the disparity across the north could be solved by a new regional care network.

The charity offers volunteer care and support to those living with MND and their families, including guidance on healthcare.

MND is a rare condition affecting the brain and nervous system, which can cause symptoms including weakness, twitching and slurred speech.

There is no cure available, but those living with the condition receive treatment including physiotherapy and medication to slow its progression.

The charity's head of regional care, Claire-Ann Magee, said those with MND currently are faced with long travel times for clinical treatment.

"We are looking for more community based support, and would like to have multi-disciplinary teams in their areas so that they don't have to travel as far," she said.

She said that those with MND who attended the report launch had shared their experiences and "difficulties" in their own trust areas outside of Belfast.

Ms Magee added that the charity, which is also calling for support for unpaid carers and improved access to housing adaptions, was pushing "for a regional network approach".

Alliance MLA Danny Donnelly said the report made a "strong case for improvement" to services.

Northern Ireland news