Partnership meeting and AGM, 5 December

It’s time for our Annual General Meeting and partnership meeting- join us on 5 December at the Pavilion, Stormont, Belfast, BT4 3TA.

 

We’ll be presenting our annual report and accounts for 2016-2017, updating everyone on what we’ve been up to since, discussing the results of the survey on communications, and planning for the way ahead. And, of course, formally launching the Stronger Together project with the Big Lottery Fund!

Research teams from QUB will be helping us to consider educational priorities, and a patient passport.

We’ll start with scones and end with lunch. Will we get a cake?

We’d love you to join us- just register below so we count you in.

Registration

 

Foyle & NW forum

We had a meeting of our Foyle group on Monday 6 November & were delighted to mark the start of the Stronger Together project in the area.

Our Project Oficer is Tanya Boggs, and she’ll be working across NHSCT and WHSCT to support people living or working with rare disease. She comes to us with many years nursing experience at Great Ormond Street Hospital. Tanya can be contacted at tanya@nirdp.org.uk  07927 170 138 and will be working 18 hours per week.

We welcomed Helen, Jane and Ashleen from QUB, all of whom are working in the area of rare disease- education, communication and genetics.

Gina updated us on the work of the Our Children’s Voice group- we’re looking at how NIRDP and OCV can work together to support families in border areas.

Carol reported back from one of the WHSCT meetings on savings/ cuts. The financial shortfall is less significant now, but there’s always negotiations to be had. We encourage members to get their voices heard and participate in discussions.

Creea Convery from MND Association raised the issue of challenging referrals from GPs to specialists- either not soon enough, or with inadequate information for the neurologists to triage appropriately.

Neurological Care Co-ordinator, Tracey Magowan, talked about the role of care advisers based at neurology clinics. They support patients and families to navigate the systems, sign post, and provide localised information and fact sheets. Another care adviser is being recruited to cover clinics at Altnagelvin.

We had another chat about the needs of patients with EDS. NHS England are working on a care pathway. NIRDP are interested in developing a piece of work looking at the patient journey. This may form part of the peer support work during the Stronger Together project. Watch this space!!

We agreed to gather again for a pre Christmas cuppa and chat at the City Hotel on 14 Dec, 11am.

Stronger Together Project starts work!

 

Sandra Campbell, Tanya Boggs, and Fiona McLaughlin: Getting the Stronger Together Project off to a great start in Derry! 

Today marks a great step forward for NIRDP and for all those affected by rare diseases in Northern Ireland, as Tanya Boggs, our first “Stronger Together” Project Officer, starts work!

Fiona McLaughlin (NIRDP Chair) and Sandra Campbell (NIRDP Director and Foyle and NorthWest Rare Disease Forum Lead) welcomed Tanya; and started the process of building our “Stronger Together” Project, funded by a grant from the Big Lottery.

Our NIRDP vision is that no one is disadvantaged because of the rarity of their health condition. Stronger Together is a 2 year pilot project which will enable people who live or work with rare disease to connect, advocate, educate and innovate in partnership with each other and others (e.g. Department of Health; other Departments; other charities). The project will provide peer support, volunteering, networking and advice.

It aims to make the ideas put forward  in the Communications Workshops earlier this year, for improving accessibility to information and support into a reality; and so to make a positive difference to the way people affected by rare diseases live.

Come along to the  Foyle and North West Rare Disease Forum meeting in the City Hotel, Derry on Monday 6 November from 11am to 1 pm to meet Tanya and others, and to celebrate this first step on the road!

ANNUAL VASCULITIS IRELAND AWARENESS ALL IRELAND CONFERENCE

Vasculitis Ireland Awareness are hosting their annual All Ireland conference on 28th and 29th of October in the Royal Marine Hotel, Dun Laoghaire.

This year will open with a patient panel, where attendees will have the opportunity to hear more about living with Vasculitis, from diagnosis through to management, comorbidity and the disease from the carer’s perspective, followed by a Consultant’s panel in the afternoon with specialists from Rheumatology, ENT and Orthopaedics.

Julie Power, Founder and Chairperson at Vasculitis Ireland Awareness says “The event will offer many opportunities for discussion about Vasculitis and will include information for attendees about recent developments in research as well as offering a chance to talk to the people involved. This is an ideal opportunity to meet others living with the same issues and to engage with the experts.”

The cost of the event is €45 with accompanying attendees paying €35 each. The cost includes lunch and refreshments on Saturday, after an evening of networking the event will close at noon on Sunday.

To register visit  https://vasculitis2017.eventbrite.co.uk/ and follow us on Facebook for updates Vasculitis Ireland Awareness, alternatively, if you would like more information about this topic, or the event please contact Julie Power at 02844842889 or email at julie@vasculitis-ia.org.

Who knows what in rare disease? Engagement, information and communication

As part of the work on the NI Rare Disease Plan, NIRDP has been running a series of Workshops across Northern Ireland, and an Online Survey, to identify information needs in relation to rare disease issues; what information is currently available and what information people would like to help them live or work with rare conditions.

On 7 June, a workshop chaired by Professor Ian Young, the Chief Scientific Officer and Chair of the NI Rare Disease Implementation Group,  heard about progress in genetics, presented by Dr Tabib Dabir, Clinical Lead, NI Regional Medical Genetics Service (and member of NIRDP’s Board)  and in metabolics, presented by Dr Clodagh Loughrey, Consultant Chemical Pathologist and Clinical Director Laboratories, BHSCT.

It’s clear from these presentations that the pathway to diagnosis, and the options available for management and treatment of complex and rare conditions, will soon alter dramatically.  Indeed some changes are already happening, with an individual’s genetic make up helping to determine the best course of treatment in some cases. It’s essential that we think through how to make best use of these advances!

Participants then considered the emerging findings from the Workshops and the Survey, presented by Dr Jane Miller, Research Fellow at the NI Genomic Medicine Centre  and NIRDP Chair Fiona McLaughlin, before working in five groups to validate and  consider how progress could be made on the key areas identified in the Workshops and in the Survey.

Suggestions for improving information and communications

  • Develop care pathways / flow charts / support plans / signposting.
  • Have one ‘go to person’ who co-ordinates care and information sharing between those involved in care:  “Care navigators” to support patients, families, and clinicians.
  • Develop a hub / portal for accessing information for medics, other professionals and people with a rare condition/disease.
  • Develop referral routes to support groups, or to other people with the same condition, from the point of diagnosis.
  • Look and take learning from other models e.g. Cancer Care; Maternity Care (where mothers hold information in The Red Book) Downs Syndrome etc.

There were many valuable suggestions, and much learning across the whole group- for example, about the proposed introduction of the SNOMED coding system across both primary and secondary care; and planned technological developments within Health & Social Care.  Also, locally based training for patients, along the lines of the EUPATI modules some of our members are already familiar with, is hopefully to become available.

We are still processing all the information that emerged; and planning follow up through a virtual working group to take forward the ideas in more detail.

Further details to follow- watch this space!

And if you haven’t already done so, please complete the Survey and get your family and health care colleagues to do so too …

NORTHERN IRELAND RARE DISEASES IMPLEMENTATION PLAN – FOCUS WORKSHOP FOR HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS

This is to provide more information on the Focus Workshop, aimed primarily at Healthcare professionals, which is being held from 4pm to 7pm on 7 June, in the Grosvenor Hall, Glengall Street, Belfast BT15 5AD.

The Focus Workshop builds on the Workshops held across Northern Ireland during March and April. It will consider the findings and recommendations from those Workshops; and agree priorities for action.  It will also focus on identifying existing information and communication channels used by clinicians and other healthcare professionals working with rare diseases; and consider how these might be improved.

Please register now to attend; and also complete the Survey to ensure that your voice is heard!

 

NI Rare Diseases Implementation Plan: work in progress!

At last, work is underway on all four of the Priority Actions in the NI Rare Diseases Implementation Plan:

  • The NI Genomic Medicine Centre is now established; staff are being recruited; and protocols for evaluation of the outcomes are being developed with NIRDP input;
  • Over the past month, NIRDP has  held well attended Communications and Information Review Workshops across Northern Ireland.  Thank you, to all those who came along and contributed so powerfully; and a special “Thank You” for their time and support to our speakers, Dr Fiona Stewart, Dr Vivienne McConnell, Dr Deidre Donnelly, and Dr Gillian Rea from the Regional Medical Genetics Service, to Ryan Wilson from the Department of Health, and to our Facilitator, Grace Henry.

The views and ideas from the Workshops are now being analysed; and will be added to the information from the Online Survey- which is still open.  So please go to the Survey, and make your voice count! The emerging findings will be considered in a Focus Workshop on 7 June: Register your interest in attending this event here

Work is now also starting on:

  • Scoping for a Rare Diseases Registry for Northern Ireland, looking at how to establish a Registry, including the need for information on congenital abnormalities, and for links to existing and developing information systems (such as the new English system, NCARDRS), whether in the UK, Ireland, or internationally; and
  • A Training Needs Analysis for doctors and other clinicians in rare diseases building on the existing presentations, delivered in part by NIRDP Members,  in year 1 and year 5 of the medical training course.

This work programme is being overseen by the Rare Diseases Implementation Plan Steering Group, led by Professor Ian Young,  Chief Scientific Adviser to the Department of Health.  The aim is to have a Report by Christmas; an “action research model” is being used, so wherever possible learning can be translated into practice without delay.

 

Joint North South Rare Disease Day 2017/Foyle and North West Rare Disease Forum

This year, we are celebrating Rare Disease Day on 28 February jointly with our counterparts in the South, The Rare Disease Taskforce- in the palatial surroundings of the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, from 9.45 to 4 pm: see the impressive Programme below.

Please Register here:

Meanwhile from 11.30 to 12.30  the Mayor of Derry, Alderman Hilary McClintock, kindly is hosting a Reception  in the gracious surroundings of the Whittaker Suite, Guildhall,Derry/Londonderry, to celebrate the Day! Everyone is welcome at this informal event, to hear about what is happening around research into rare disease, and how to have your say on improving the systems for preventing, treating and living with rare conditions.

Please register now to receive an invitation

The Programme for the Kilmainham event is here:

Joint North South Rare Disease Day Conference 28 February 2017

9.45am: Registration, Tea and Coffee

Theme 1:  Updates, Progress and Gaps

10.30am                    Welcome and opening remarks: Philip Watt, Chairperson, Rare Disease Taskforce

10.45am                    Opening Address: Mark Pollock

11.00am                    Update on progress on Rare Diseases in Northern Ireland: Professor Ian Young

11.20am                    Progress at a European level: Professor Eileen Treacy

11.40am: Tea/Coffee Break and Networking Opportunity

Theme 2: Accessing New and Innovative Medicines: The Needs and the Challenges  Chaired by: Derick Mitchell, IPPOSI

12.10pm Rare lung diseases – opportunities and challenges: Professor Gerry McElvaney

12.30pm A pharmacoeconomics perspective: Professor Michael Barry NCPE

12.50pm Patient group perspective: Michael Griffith and Dermot Devlin

13.10pm Discussion

 13.30pm: Lunch

Theme 3: The role of Genomics and Research in Rare Diseases  Chaired by: Fiona McLoughlin, Chairperson, NI Rare Disease Partnership

14.15pm 22Q11: A North/South patient group perspective: Gillian Cassidy and Anne Lawlor

14.35pm The Patient Journey – Living with a Genetic Diagnosis: Rose Kelly and Anne Lennon Bird

14:55pm The role and potential of genomics in tackling rare diseases: Dr Sean Ennis

15:15pm Cheryl Flanagan: Northern Ireland Genomic Medicine Centre

15.35pm Discussion

15.55pm Concluding Remarks: Avril Daly, GRDO

The National Rare Disease Office team will be on hand on the day to showcase the Orphanet system throughout the day.

Ataxia

Rare Disease “Research into Practice” Series
Ataxia: Translating Research into Practice
17 February 2017
Grosvenor Hall, Glengall Street, Belfast BT12 5AD

NIRDP has joined forces with Ataxia UK and with the support of the Public Health Agency’s Research and Development Division is bringing international experts in Ataxia together at a training Conference in the Grosvenor Hall, Belfast on 17 February.

The conference will be of relevance and interest to anyone living or working with Ataxia and other movement disorders; and to those interested in the hearing difficulties associated with Ataxia. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear from world leading clinicians on recent developments in the diagnosis and management of Ataxia; and from patients and carers on the experience of living with Ataxia.

Register now at the link below!

The event has been approved by the Federation of Royal Colleges of Physicians of the UK for 5 Category 1 (external) CPD Points.

9.00 Registration & Coffee
9.30 Welcome Christine Collins, Northern Ireland Rare Disease Partnership
9.35 Living with ataxia Clodagh Clerkin, Ataxia Ireland
9.45 Types of ataxia and their clinical care pathways Dr Petya Bogdanova-Mihaylova, Registrar, Tallaght Hospital, Dublin
10.15 The patient experience of diagnosis Alex Duncan, Ataxia UK
10.25 Diagnosis of inherited ataxias: recent developments in genetics research Professor Patrick Morrison, Consultant in clinical genetics, Belfast NHS Trust
11.00 Break
11.20 How to reach a diagnosis in the ataxias: a clinical perspective Professor Marios Hadjivassilliou, Professor of Neurology Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
12.05 Experiences of ataxia patients in Northern Ireland – results of a survey undertaken by Ataxia UK Sue Millman, CEO Ataxia UK
12.30 Speech therapy interventions in ataxia Professor Anja Lowit, Professor of Speech and Language Therapy, Strathclyde University
13.00 Lunch
14:15 Overview of Ataxia Medical Guidelines Dr Julie Greenfield, Head of Research, Ataxia UK
14:25 Hearing difficulties in people with ataxia and the use of FM hearing devices Dr Kai Uus, Reader in audiology, Manchester University
14:55 Ataxia Research: Latest developments in clinical studies Dr Julie Greenfield, Head of Research, Ataxia UK
15:25 Any remaining questions and closing remarks Sue Millman, CEO Ataxia UK
15.40 Close

Foyle and North West Rare Disease Forum

Foyle and North West Rare Disease Forum

Date: Saturday 10th December
Time: 2.00pm – 4.00pm
Venue: McCorkell Suite, City Hotel, Derry/Londonderry, BT48 7AS

The Foyle and North West Rare Disease Forum will be holding their next meeting at the City Hotel on the 10th December.

The group connects families living with rare disease in the region removing isolation and creating a shared forum for information exchange and mutual support.

Fiona McLaughlin, Chair of the NIRDP, and Christine Collins, former Chair and Board Member, will be there listen to the concerns of local members. They will also be updating us on engagement opportunities and current programmes that are informing service design and planning for future services.

Refreshments will be provided. Let us know if you have any special dietary requirements. Children welcome to attend with parents

Contact Sandra Campbell on 07512 880466 or sandra@nirdp.org.uk