News from the South East Coast Muscle Group

Yesterday, Jonathan and I travelled down to Crawley for the South East Coast Muscle Group meeting. We were delighted to be joined by Mike Lander from the Specialised Commissioning Group and Neeru Malhotra, the Pathway Coordinator and Patient Advocate for the region. Tony Lewis, a long-time Muscle Group member and campaigner in the region, took over as Chair at this meeting and I’m sure that the campaigning success of the Muscle Group will continue under his chairmanship!

After hearing from Jonathan about the changes being made in the NHS following the Health and Social Care Act 2012, Neeru and Mike updated us on the progress that has been made in the region since our last meeting. Neeru has been mapping the services available across Kent, Surrey and Sussex and is working with London-based clinicians to set up a number of outreach clinics across the region to enable people to access specialised services more locally. Current plans are to set up three adult clinics and to increase the number of paediatric clinics, meaning fewer patients will have to travel to London to see a specialist.

Mike then spoke about the new South East Coast neuromuscular steering group, which has been set up to drive forward improvements to services. The group comprises commissioners, specialist clinicians and healthcare professionals and patient representatives, who had a positive first meeting in January. The next meeting will be arranged in the spring, and we’re looking forward to working with the steering group to improve neuromuscular services in the region.

All in all, we enjoyed a productive meeting and are looking forward to working with the Muscle Group over the coming months as we campaign for better services in the South East Coast!

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