Southampton service for muscle and nerve diseases named centre of excellence


A specialist regional service for patients with muscle-wasting and nerve diseases based at Southampton’s teaching hospitals has been named a national centre of clinical excellence.

The adult neuromuscular service at University Hospital Southampton was awarded the status by charity Muscular Dystrophy UK (MDUK).

It acknowledges outstanding levels of care for people with neuromuscular conditions like motor neurone disease, muscular dystrophy, myositis, neuropathies and myasthenia gravis.

In Southampton, a team of consultants, co-ordinators, physiotherapists and nurses treat around 2,000 patients a year from across Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire, West Sussex, the Isle of Wight, the Channel Islands and other parts of southern England.

Patients are referred to the service, which is led by consultant neurologist Dr Simon Hammans, for a number of reasons including advice on the diagnosis of a new neuromuscular problem, reassessment, further advice or monitoring for those living with an established condition and long-term support and care.

MDUK’s centres of excellence are selected following a national audit which takes place every three years and sees services assessed against a set of criteria developed by a committee of experts.

Simon Hammans and Rob Burley 2020Rob Burley (pictured right), MDUK director of campaigns, care and support, who presented the award to Dr Hammans and the team at a ceremony on Friday, said: “We would like to congratulate the neuromuscular service at UHS which has deservedly been awarded MDUK centre of clinical excellence status.

“Our committee recognised the value in the weekly joint muscle clinics with a neuromuscular consultant and neuromuscular care adviser and/or specialist physiotherapist combined with joint working across the different teams at the hospital.

“Additionally, the centre’s significant involvement in clinical trials and the role of neuromuscular consultants in providing outreach clinics in Poole, Portsmouth and across Hampshire was also highly commended.”

Mr Burley added that, as part of the audit process, the committee received feedback from patients who gave positive comments on the support available from their neuromuscular care adviser.

Dr Hammans said: “This is a fantastic endorsement for the service and its staff who strive to provide the highest quality care and treatment to patients every day.

“The award underlines that our patients appreciate that precise diagnoses can be made by their regional service and then supported by ongoing care and advice.

“It also demonstrates to our patients that we have a clear desire to maintain clinical excellence and continue to develop our services further so we remain at the forefront of improvements in neuromuscular care in the UK.”

Posted on Monday 2 March 2020