NHS Ayrshire & Arran excels in the care of people affected by Motor Neurone Disease

Since National Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Awareness week in June, celebrities and their families who have been affected by the life limiting condition have been coming forward to raise awareness of the condition. Some of the well-known people affected by the disease are Doddie Weir (former Scotland International Rugby player), Fernando Rickson (former Rangers footballer), and the late Jimmy Johnstone (former Celtic player).

Many families within Ayrshire and Arran are also affected by MND, a rare disease of the brain which increasingly affects a person’s ability to carry out everyday functions such as eating, speaking and moving around. There is no known cure, so it is important that practical support, therapies, counselling, and relevant information are easily available to people with MND.

Douglas Grant Rehabilitation Centre provides support and care to people in Ayrshire and Arran. The Centre was established in 1992 and provides a multidisciplinary service in partnership with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, and the three Health and Social Care Partnerships in Ayrshire.

The multidisciplinary team includes an MND Nurse Specialist, staff from Physiotherapy, Speech and Language Therapy, Dietetics, Psychology, and Occupational Therapy. It provides a range of support and therapies for people with the condition and their families and carers, including access to orthotics, wheelchair services, respiratory ventilation services, assistive technology and assistive communication.

Jenny Preston MBE, Consultant Occupational Therapist explains: “We have a unique model of care in Ayrshire and Arran and access to a range of professionals who all work together to obtain the best possible outcome for everyone we see living with MND.

“We are proud to be one of the few centres in the UK able to deliver care within the requirements of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) Guidelines for MND.”

Craig Stockton, CEO of MND Scotland said: “We work very closely with the team at the Douglas Grant Rehabilitation Centre. The multidisciplinary approach at NHS Ayrshire & Arran is one which we hold up to others as an example of good practice. Research has shown that patients who attend a multidisciplinary clinic have improved outcomes.

“As well as services offered by the NHS, MND Scotland is here to support people across Scotland who are affected by MND. We provide counselling, welfare and benefits advice, grants to help with the financial burden of the disease and run a bi-monthly support group for patients and their families in the Ayrshire area.”

James Hay was diagnosed with MND eight years ago and has nothing but praise for the centre: “Both my wife and I have found the facilities at the Douglas Grant Rehabilitation Centre to be second to none. To have access to specialist nurses, occupational therapists, and physiotherapists under one roof means I can usually have a consultation with two or three specialists during one visit to the clinic rather than having to arrange separate appointments.”

Further information about Motor Neuron Disease is available at http://www.mndscotland.org.uk/ If you wish to know more about the services in Ayrshire and Arran please contact Jacquie.Downs@aaaht.scot.nhs.uk or telephone 01294 323056.