News from our Partners: Sheffield Teaching Hospitals and Sheffield Children’s win national award for outstanding care

Thursday 4th July 2019

News from our Partners: Sheffield Teaching Hospitals and Sheffield Children’s win national award for outstanding care

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust have been officially recognised as Centres of Clinical Excellence by Muscular Dystrophy UK at two award ceremonies today (Tuesday 2 July).

The Trusts received their national awards from Rob Burley, Director of Campaigns, Care and Support at Muscular Dystrophy UK.

Rob Burley met with representatives from both paediatric and adult neuromuscular teams in two separate presentations.

At the Children’s Hospital, he 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.

Rob Burley was then greeted by Dr Channa Hewamadduma, Consultant Neuromuscular Neurologist at the neuromuscular team from Sheffield Teaching Hospitals who gave him a guided tour of the specialist facilities available to adults with neuromuscular disorders at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital. The key role the team at the Northern General Hospital play in supporting patients who live with devastating nerve and muscle-wasting conditions was also highlighted.

He was then shown the state-of-the-art neurophysiology unit where investigations with nerve testing take place to diagnosis the condition and saw first-hand patients having intravenous immune globulin treatment, a gold standard treatment for certain disorders of the muscles and nerves. Before departing, Rob Burley presented the adult neuromuscular service with their award.

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.

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 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. We are delighted that both the adult and children’s neuromuscular services have been honoured by MDUK.”

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.”

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.”
Kirsten Major, Chief Executive of Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, and John Somers, Chief Executive of Sheffield Children’s, attended their respective ceremonies.  

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.


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