NBT's neuromuscular centre recognised for outstanding care

NBT staff from the Neuromuscular Centre grouped together.

North Bristol NHS Trust has received a prestigious Centre of Excellence award from leading national charity Muscular Dystrophy UK.

The charity for more than 110,000 children and adults in the UK living with one of over 60 muscle wasting and weakening conditions awarded North Bristol NHS Trust for providing outstanding care, promoting best practice locally and nationally and demonstrating their commitment to improving health and care for people living with muscle wasting and weakening conditions.

In total 24 neuromuscular centres across the UK were recognised, including the centre at Southmead Hospital which is run by North Bristol NHS Trust. The information gathered through the awards process provides a benchmark of neuromuscular services across all centres that took part in a national audit. This will help centres in their efforts to build business cases for additional NHS investment in core services.

Dr Andria Merrison MA MD FRCP Consultant Neurologist, Director of the South West Neuromuscular Network at North Bristol NHS Trust said: 

"It is a great privilege for North Bristol NHS Trust, as a centre for the South West Neuromuscular Network, to be awarded a Muscular Dystrophy UK Centre of Excellence award for the centre’s role in providing care, support and education for people living with Neuromuscular conditions and their carers/families living in the South West.

“The work of the network relies on a team of dedicated professionals working collaboratively with a wide range of partners, across traditional boundaries of health and social care and crossing organisational divides. We are indebted to Muscular Dystrophy UK for supporting the network over many years to deliver higher standards of care and for making this award possible.”

Maria Kane, CEO, North Bristol NHS Trust, said: 

“I’m incredibly proud that our neuromuscular centre has been recognised as a Centre of Excellence by Muscular Dystrophy UK.

“The award speaks to the dedication of our staff to provide this vital support and the best possible care for those living with muscle wasting or weakening conditions.”

The centres across the country can provide a lifeline for those living with a muscle wasting or weakening condition including Malcolm Reid, 66 years old from North Somerset, who attends clinics at North Bristol NHS Trust and who was diagnosed with Myotonia Congenita. Malcolm said: 

“Hearty congratulations on your Centre of Excellence award which is richly deserved for a dedicated and caring team who provide exceptional patient care.”

Catherine Woodhead, Chief Executive of Muscular Dystrophy UK, said:

“We would like to congratulate North Bristol NHS Trust that has been recognised with a Centre of Excellence award after a robust and rigorous assessment of their service by leading neuromuscular experts and members of the muscle wasting and weakening community.

"Despite continuing pressures and challenges within the NHS, these centres strive every day to ensure they promote best practice and provide an exemplary service.

"The findings from our Centre of Excellence awards demonstrate that many centres continue to require investment to develop specialist multi-disciplinary teams that can provide the best care possible along with a working environment that fosters the ability to conduct or support excellent research and clinical trials to advance treatments and other scientific progress. That's why we're calling on commissioners to include requirements for the provision of the recommended standards of neuromuscular care.”

Muscular Dystrophy UK’s Centres of Excellence awards take place every three years. The audit is overseen by the charity’s Services Development Committee, and an independent sub-committee of neuromuscular health professionals and people with lived experience of neuromuscular conditions. The audit reviews information, a range of case studies and examples of best practice as well as assessing the way neuromuscular services are organised and how people using the services can access them.

You can find further information on Muscular Dystrophy UK’s Centre of Excellence awards here.