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!

Good News on access to drugs for rare conditions: Thank you, Minister!

Health Minister Michelle O’Neill today announced that eligible patients in the north of Ireland will receive innovative new drugs for the treatment of very rare conditions. The Minister has confirmed that drugs evaluated under the Highly Specialised Technology Programme of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), will be made available to patients with very rare conditions including atypical Haemolytic Uraemic Syndrome, mucopolysaccharidosis type IVa and Duchenne muscular dystrophy caused by a nonsense mutation.

The Minister said: “My Department is working with the HSC on a range of initiatives to bring more efficient and effective processes right across the system in prescribing, workforce planning and service delivery. I will continue to make decisions based on clinical advice and will work with my colleagues in the Executive to make sure that health and wellbeing remains a priority for all.
There are many challenges facing us in health and social care. From today, access to the most innovative medicines for the rarest conditions is not a challenge for patients in the north of Ireland.”

This is very welcome news, which will transform lives.
We will continue to work closely with the Department, and with the HSC to ensure that those living with rare diseases are not disadvantaged simply because of the rarity of their condition; and to support changes to make the system more efficient and effective

Rare Disease Day 2016 Patient Voice and Empowerment

Rare Disease Day 29 February is getting close!  Here are the full programmes for the Conference in Riddel Hall, and for the Reception in the Long Gallery at Stormont; follow the links in the post below to register NOW

The Conference is a unique opportunity to hear from Dr Michael McBride ,our Chief Medical Officer and from a range of patients, carers, and professionals about what is already happening; and to engage in developing what more could be done to make a difference to the lives of those affected by rare disease.

INTERNATIONAL RARE DISEASE DAY CONFERENCE: PATIENT VOICE AND EMPOWERMENT
10.00 to 10.30 Registration
10.30 to 10.35: Welcome – Christine Collins, Chair, NIRDP
10.35. to 10.45: Keynote Address: Rare Disease and HSC Transformation- Dr Michael McBride, Chief Medical Officer, Northern Ireland
10.45 to 11.20: Educating: Miriam Martin, SACA; Dr Mairead Corrigan, QUB; Michaela Hollywood, MDUK Trailblazers;
11.20 to 11.55: Advocating: Fiona McLaughlin PSPA NHS IQ Certificated Change Agent;  Noirin O’Neill, EUPATI Fellow; Sandra Campbell, NIRDP Foyle and North West Co ordinator; Carol McCullough, NIRDP Consultations Lead
11.55 to 12.30: Innovation: Alison Wilson, All Ireland Advocacy and Support Officer, MPS Society;Dr Breidge Boyle, UU; Julie Power, Vasculitis Ireland, EUPATI Fellow; Joanne Westwood, N.I. Neurological Care Advice Service
12.30 to 12.45: Round up of Panel Sessions: Reflections
13.00 to 13.45 Lunch: INFORMATION STANDS, INCLUDING RNIB; ACTION FOR HEARInG LOSS; 10K VOICES; AND PATIENT ORGANIZATIONS
13.45 to 14.00: NI Medical Genomic Centre Dr AJ McKnight, QUB
14.00 to 15.15: Seizing the opportunity “POLICY INTO PRACTICE” interactive workshop David Finegan, NIRDP
15.15 TO 15.30 : CONCLUSIONS AND CLOSE

The Long Gallery Reception is a chance to hear from Alastair Kent OBE, the Chair of the UK Rare Disease Forum, about the role of patients in driving and developing change; and to hear from Minister Simon Hamilton about his vision of the way ahead.

NIRDP International Rare Disease Day Reception at Stormont

17.00 to 17.30: Registration
17.30.to 17.45: Welcome and introduction: Kieran McCarthy, MLA; Dr Vivienne  McConnell, Clinical Lead for Medical Genetics

17.45 to 18.00: Alastair Kent OBE: The role of empowered patients in oversight

18.00 to 18.10: Minister Simon Hamilton MLA: Working together to provide high quality care for people with rare diseases
18.10-18.15: Thanks and Close: Christine Collins, Chair NIRDP
18.15 to 19.00: Photo Opportunities and Networking: Refreshments

See the post below to register! 

What’s On: Coming Events..

Just to keep you all informed- here are two of the rare disease related events which are coming up this month!

  1. The second All Ireland Neuromuscular Research and Information Sharing Day is being held in Riddell Hall, Belfast, on 16th May 2015. This event is co-hosted by Muscular Dystrophy UK and Muscular Dystrophy Ireland with registration starting at 9.30 am.
  • Prof Francesco Muntoni will be discussing their clinical centre of excellence and translational research for the benefit of patients, including briefly updating on muscle disease genes and measures for trial readiness.
  • Dr Ros Quinlivan is focusing on their new neuromuscular complex care centre (e.g. http://tinyurl.com/kx54rac) and transition.
  • Prof Eileen Treacy from Dublin is providing an update from their National Clinical Programme for Rare Diseases, and Aoife Bradley, from the Northern Ireland Regional Medical Genetics Service will be discussing pre-implantation genetic diagnosis.
  • Afternoon workshops will take place on Disability Sports and Independent Living, finishing the day with a LEGO fundraising event.
  • A parallel, medically-focused discussion session supported by the NIRDP is available with our international experts as requested 2.00 pm – 3.30 pm.

Everyone is very welcome to attend all or part of the day; so please spread the word, and please do register to accommodate catering.

For further information and to register for attendance please contact Demelza at d.stuart@musculardystrophyuk.org

2. Vasculitis Ireland Awareness have organised the first Vasculitis Conference in Northern Ireland, on “Managing Vasculitis” in the Burrendale Hotel, Country Club and Spa, Newcastle, Co. Down BT33OJY, on Sunday 24th May 2015, 9am-5pm.  

Topics discussed will include:

  • Vasculitis- the Basics: Dr Dearbhla Kelly, Specialist Vasculitis Clinic, St James’ Hospital, Dublin;
  • How we can help ourselves: Self help and Symptom Management groups available in NI: Tricia Bowers, Arthritis Care
  • How to get the most from our appointments: Kieran Brogan, Patient Advocate
  • Pain Management: Patricia Mc Crystal, Chartered Counselling Psychologist- Specialist in Persistent Pain, Southern  Health and Social Care Trust
  • Renal Patient View and the Importance of Registries: Dr Damian Fogarty, Consultant Nephrologist Belfast Health and Social Care Trust with special interest in research; and
  • How to improve our Health and Well Being: Dr Caroline Harper, Executive Medical Director/ Director of Public Health, Public Health Agency NI

The cost is £27.50 per person, including  lunch and refreshments.

There will  be information stands on how to access help, benefits, aids and appliances, and information on courses available to help maintain and regain independence.

This event will be of interest to anyone interested in improving management of a long-term chronic condition.

Register online at https://managingvasculitis.eventbrite.co.uk

For more details contact Julie at 02844 842889

 

Watch this space for details on the forthcoming Ataxia UK Conference (Radisson Blu Hotel, Gasworks, Belfast; 20 and 21 June 2015); and on NIRDP’s own forthcoming events…

 

 

 

 

Implementation Plan Consultation: Open Meetings

The Open Meetings on the Draft Rare Disease Implementation Plan are ongoing:

6 January 2015: Lecture Theatre, Level 2, South West Acute Hospital, 124 Irvinestown Road, Enniskillen Co Fermanagh, BT74 6DN, 3.30pm to 5.30 pm

7 January 2015: Mourne Country Hotel, 52 Belfast Road, Newry, Co Down BT34 1TR, 7pm to 9 pm

8 January 2015: Conference Room, Portadown Health and Social Services Centre, Tavanagh Avenue, Portadown, BT62 3BU, 2pm to 4pm

12 January 2015: Whinstone Suite, Antrim Civic Centre, 50 Stiles Way, Antrim, BT41 2UB, 1pm to 4 pm

13 January 2015: Lecture Theatre, Block A, Royal Victoria Hospital, Grosvenor Road, Belfast, BT12 6BA, 2pm to 5pm PLEASE NOTE: NEW TIME!!

This is your chance:

  • to listen to what is in the Plan; ( http://www.dhsspsni.gov.uk/showconsultations?txtid=74325 )
  •  to have your say, about what matters to you- whether it’s in relation to a health or social care aspect of living or working with a rare disease, or how having a rare condition impacts on education, transport, work, or housing.

Whether you are a patient, a carer, a member of Health and Social Care staff, or anyone whose work involves tackling the challenges of rare disease, this is your opportunity to shape the future; and to make a difference.

Please register through eventbrite,  http://nirdp.eventbrite.co.uk-  so we know numbers/needs for catering; and so that we can make sure there is enough reserved parking for disabled access etc.   But if you don’t register, you will still be very welcome!

Rare Disease Day

The 2013 theme for Rare Disease Day is Rare Disorders Without Borders– particularly relevant to a small island on the far west of Europe with its own international border.

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NI Rare Disease Partnership are co hosting a joint event with the charities interested in rare disease in the Republic of Ireland. There will be Ministers, a speaker from the EU, professors of complicated things, and examples of effective cross border health care work.

Most importantly of all, there will be patients, carers and families telling tales of living with rare disease, sharing their expertise with the Ministers, the policy makers and the commissioners. It is only by working together that we can begin to address the issues that affect us all- international boundaries are far from our only concern.

Our fabulous, dynamic, innovative event  will be held in City Hall, Dublin on 28 February. If you are interested in attending, you can register here. It will be well worth attending.

Visit  the main source of rare disease day information http://www.rarediseaseday.org/ for information, logos, guidelines for organising events etc

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Award Winning!

NIRDP have always acknowledged that support from the Patient and Client Council has been vital in our development. We thank them for the time and commitment to helping us create a method of working which enables us to advocate, educate and innovate on behalf of patients and families living with rare diseases.

It’s not just we who think they have done a good job. At the CIPR NI PRide Awards Dinner, the PCC were awarded a silver award for their work supporting the development of NIRDP. The PCC received two other awards also, reflecting very positively on the work of the organisation.

Stella Cunningham, PCC

Thanks also to the PCC for ensuring that the rare disease partnership were represented at the event. My name came out of the hat, and I enjoyed the chance to hire an outfit, visit the venue (Titanic Belfast) and chat about our work.