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Motor Neurone Disease (MND) at Weldmar

Within Dorset, Weldmar Hospicecare are the specialists to support patients living with Motor Neurone Disease (MND)

Motor Neurone Disease (MND) at Weldmar

Hospices are most known for caring for patients with cancer, although, 20% of Weldmar’s patients have other life limiting illnesses, which includes Motor Neurone Disease (MND). There are however different types of MND. All types destroy the motor neurones (or nerves) which convey messages from the brain to muscles. People become increasingly disabled and often lose the ability to speak and eat, and breathing can be affected. It is always fatal. More than half the people diagnosed die within 2 years. The cause is unknown but can affect any adult, with 5,000 adults in the UK currently living with MND, and 6 more people are diagnosed each day.

Our team includes a Nurse Specialist (Rose Elliott), a Medical team of Doctors with specialist knowledge of symptom management, Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, a Complementary Therapist, and a team offering spiritual and psychological support to patients, family and carers, including children. All are supported by Weldmar Hospicecare.

Our MND Nurse Specialist, Rose Elliot said “My role is to have expert knowledge of MND and how it may affect individual people. I visit people at home, in hospital or care homes. I work both with the Weldmar team of specialists and also with GP’s, District Nurses, Care Agencies and Social Services. I advise on symptom management, plan care, and provide support, education and training. I usually have 25-30 people on my caseload across Dorset (except East Dorset). Health Care Professionals meet once a month at Joseph Weld Hospice to discuss current issues regarding individual patients.

Weldmar also runs MND Joint Clinics every 2 months whereby patients and their families are seen by our Palliative Care Consultant and Medical Director Dr Karen Steadman, Consultant Neurologist Dr Rupert Page and myself, and have access to Physiotherapy, Occupational Complementary Therapy and Social Work. I also meet with corresponding teams in East Dorset three times a year to address issues across Dorset and campaign for this group of patients. We have devised Dorset-wide Care Plans, which are accessed by health care professionals nationwide. We are currently campaigning for improved respiratory services for people with MND in West Dorset, plus more timely provision of equipment and care.”

In addition, our specialist Physiotherapy team supports people with MND as their disease progresses, aiming to maintain independence, quality of life and comfort, as their needs change. The physiotherapist may give guidance on breathing and techniques to help keep the chest clear of secretions. Our specialist Occupational Therapy team is able to offer holistic, patient/carer centred and timely intervention to meet the changing needs of patients with a diagnosis of MND. Specialist intervention includes assessment of the home environment in anticipation of future needs with resulting equipment provision and referral to relevant agencies.

Rose added “I feel hugely privileged to be working alongside colleagues who inspire me and are knowledgeable and passionate about maintaining independence and improving the quality of life for people living with MND.”

MND Video kindly filmed and edited by Elliot Millson on behalf of Weldmar Hospicecare. 

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