Neuromuscular Service

The neuromuscular service aims to provide a full diagnostic and clinical management service for both children and adults living with a neuromuscular condition. It was recently awarded Centre of Excellence status by the national body Muscular Dystrophy UK

The team comprises of specialist neuromuscular consultant, and attended by consultants in neurology, rehabilitation, genetics and orthopaedics. Neuromuscular care advisors, neuromuscular physiotherapists and a psychologist are in attendance at the clinics.

The inherited neuromuscular conditions seen include;

  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Congenital myopathies
  • Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA)
  • Charcot Marie Tooth disease (CMT)
  • Myotonic Dystrophy
  • Congenital Myasthenia gravis
  • Neuropathies and mitochondrial myopathies

These specialist clinics are run weekly both for adult and children, and some clinics will run jointly with other clinical specialties, such as cardiology, genetics, dietetics and orthopaedics. This means that patients can be seen by a number of clinicians and have a number of assessments at one appointment if required.

 

How can an individual be referred to the ‘muscle service’

Referrals to the ‘muscle service’ and the physiotherapists can be made via a patient’s GP or hospital doctor. 

As part of the diagnostic workup patients may have blood tests, including DNA for genetic testing where appropriate. A patient may have neurophysiological testing (electrical testing of the nerves and muscles), muscle MRI (imaging) and a muscle biopsy (a piece of muscle taken and looked at via a microscope). These all help in the diagnostic process.

As part of the clinical management patients will have regular assessments of their muscle function and strength, respiratory and cardiac health, diet and nutrition and bone health as well as schooling (where appropriate) and job opportunities, and social and wellbeing.

Regular clinic attendance means that ongoing management of a patients neuromuscular condition can prevent problems such as acute hospital admissions for chest infections, correction of spinal curvatures at an early stage, treatment and monitoring of heart problems associated with some conditions and regular updates on clinical trials and research and opportunities, if appropriate, to take part in clinical trials.

The Team

Lead Consultant

  • Dr Tracey Willis, Consultant Paediatric Neurologist (Specialty Interest in Neuromuscular Disorders)

Specialist neuromuscular Team Clinicians:

  • Dr Richa Kulshrestha, Consultant Neurodisability (Special Interest in Neuromuscular Disorders)
  • Dr Deborah Short, Consultant in Spinal Injuries and Rehabilitation Medicine
  • Mr Nigel Kiely, Consultant Adult & Paediatric Surgeon
  • Dr Mark Rogers, Consultant Family Geneticist
  • Mr Simon Hill Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon


Clinical Support Team:

  • Dr Yvette Easthope-Mowatt, Specialist Clinical Psychologist, Adult & Children
  • Prof. Caroline Sewry, Histopathologist
  • Mr Nick Emery, Specialist Neuromuscular Physiotherapist, Adult & Children
  • Mrs Claire Bassie, Family Advanced Neuromuscular Nurse Practitioner
  • Ms Kate Jones, Neuromuscular Care Advisor
  • Mrs Rachel Steel, Pathway Co-ordinator
  • Mrs Debbie Davies, Secretary
  • Mrs Nicola Jones, Secretary

 

Muscle team awarded prestigious Centre of Excellence status

The quality of the muscle team at The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital has been recognised with the award of ‘Centre of Excellence status from national body Muscular Dystrophy UK.

The team – which treats children and adults with Muscular Dystrophy and other neuromuscular conditions – has been praised for its ‘outstanding’ care.

Muscle Team Award For Web.jpg

Muscular Dystrophy UK has awarded Centre of Excellence status, 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 RJAH service in Oswestry service is now only one of 10 neuromuscular centres in the UK to meet the charity’s specialist criteria.

Oswestry’s specialist team currently looks after 1,046 local patients, who receive expert advice, physiotherapy and hydrotherapy crucial to maintaining their health and wellbeing. The service is instrumental in the lives of local patients and families alike.

Dr Tracey Willis, Consultant Paediatric Neurologist with a special interest in Neuromuscular Disorders, said: “This recognition for our centre is brilliant for the staff. It makes them feel valued and is public acknowledgement that they are doing a great job in providing the best service they can to patients.

“They are working with patients whose conditions are chronic and lifelong, and they are doing everything they can to ensure those patients can enjoy life rather than being held back by a debilitating condition.”

“For our patients, this recognition enables them to see that we are actively engaged with trying to improve what we deliver to them, and that we are involved with trials and research to make advances in treatment and find cures.”

Robert Meadowcroft, Chief Executive of Muscular Dystrophy UK said: “I am delighted to recognise the Adult and Paediatric Centre in Oswestry for its outstanding neuromuscular specialist care. The right specialist care can transform quality of life, and in many cases, extend the lives of children and adults living with muscle-wasting conditions.

“We warmly congratulate Dr Willis and all the excellent team in Oswestry for the high standards and expertise that we hope will be adopted in other parts of the country.”

Donna McDonald, whose six-year old son, Dexter, has Duchenne muscular dystrophy has attended the RJAH Oswestry centre with her son since he was diagnosed at two months old. He is now in primary school.

Donna said: “The care from the team at RJAH has been amazing throughout Dexter’s life. Dr Tracey Willis joined the centre four years ago and has struck up an incredible bond with Dexter and our family.

“The whole team is very accommodating, supportive and has always been there whenever we’ve needed them. Dexter is now at primary school and the Centre sent a nurse along to discuss his condition with the teachers, which really helped. We also have a clinical psychologist on hand, as well as a care advisor and physiotherapist – so the whole package of care is brilliant.

“Having such a specialist Centre locally has made all the difference. It’s great knowing the team is just a phone call away.”

Centre of Excellence Award

Contact Us:

Rachel Steel, Pathway Co-ordinator on Tel: 01691 404486