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!

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! 

Living Life with Rare Disease: Taking the scare out of Palliative Care

It’s time for our Summer Meeting! This year, we are holding it, on Friday 26 June, in the Day Room at the Foyle Hospice, 61 Culmore Road, L/Derry. Our theme is “Taking the scare out of Palliative Care”.

Palliative care is all about making the very best of life, from diagnosis on; and even when you have no diagnosis.  It’s about how to ensure the support that’s needed to live life to the full, in difficult circumstances.

We have a terrific line up of speakers, so this is a great opportunity to hear and learn about how a palliative care approach can support and improve quality of life, from diagnosis onwards or even if you have no diagnosis.  It’s a chance to have your say about how palliative care can be developed, for all those living or working with rare diseases.
A chance to meet up, make new friends and contacts, and share your knowledge and experience!

Register here:

Outline Programme:
9.30-10.00 REGISTRATION: Tea/Coffee; Scones
10.00 TO 13.45 PALLIATIVE CARE AND RARE DISEASE PROGRAMME:
10.00-10.35 Welcome: NIRDP Representative
10.35-10.45 A Patient/Carer’s Perspective: Sandra Campbell, NIRDP
10.45-11.05 Dr Aine Abbott, RCGP (NI): Supporting Communication: the Patient Passport
11.05-11.25 Dr Damien McMullan, Consultant, Adult Palliative Care
11.25- 11.45 Dr Heather McCluggage, Associate Specialist, Children’s Palliative Care
11.45-12.05. Katie Rigg, Nurse Specialist, Multiple Systems Atrophy Association
12.05-12.25 Donall Henderson, Chief Executive, Foyle Hospice
12.25-12.45 Paddie Blaney, Director, AIIHPC :
12.45- 13.45 Discussion Session: What needs to be done to improve support for rare disease?

LUNCH AND NETWORKING: 13.45 to 14.30
To include Soup, Sandwiches, and meeting and getting to know others.

If you want to join us just for the lunch and networking, please email events@nirdp.org.uk; and we will try to facilitate this; but we would encourage you to come and hear about how a palliative care approach can help make the most of living every day with a rare disease.

Palliative Care: The Lets Talk About Survey

The All Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care’s “Let’s Talk About” care survey is gathering experiences, good and bad, about palliative care in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Many people with rare diseases live with a serious or progressive medical condition from which they are unlikely to be cured and which may limit or shorten their life.

Taking a palliative care approach helps to give people the best possible quality of life. You can help improve policy and services by sharing your real life experiences in this survey. Palliative care is an essential element in supporting all those living with serious and progressive conditions to live life to the fullest possible extent.
If you have had an experience of palliative care, good or bad, please take the time to complete the AIIHPC’s survey, anonymously, so that your experience can help build better provision for the future. Further information, and the survey, is available on line at http://aiihpc.org; or contact Cathleen Mulholland at cmulholland@aiihpc.org or phone 00 353 (0) 1 491 2948

Collagen – Why Do We Need It?

With support from the Research and Development Division of the Public Health Agency, and in collaboration with the Regional Medical Genetics Service and QUAMS, we are bringing  two external, internationally recognised experts on Connective Tissue disorders and translational genomic medicine, to join with our local experts in a “mini Symposium”, chaired by Professor Patrick Morrison, on connective tissue disorders.

The expert speakers are:

Professor Dianna M. Milewicz, M.D., Ph.D. President George H.W. Bush Chair of Cardiovascular Medicine Director of the Division of Medical Genetics Professor and Vice-Chair of the Department of Internal Medicine The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, TX

Professor William Newman, MA FRCP PhD Professor of Translational Genomic Medicine Manchester Centre for Genomic Medicine St Mary’s Hospital Manchester

Dr V McConnell, MD, MRCGP, DRCOG, PGCCE, Clinical Lead, Regional Medical Genetics Service, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust

Dr A Pendleton, FRCP (Ed), FRCP (I), FBASM, Consultant Rheumatologist,  Belfast Health and Social Care Trust

Our aim is to raise awareness of collagen disorders, and provide information on how to understand the diagnosis, and the appropriate treatment and management of these conditions, which from the relatively mild to the life threatening.

The event will provide a focus for patients and carers to improve their knowledge and understanding, and enable them to participate from an informed basis in their care, and in appropriate self-management strategies.

It will add to the knowledge base of clinicians and other health professionals and scientists by providing a world class up to date information and evidence session: and it will enable medical students to learn from internationally renowned experts not normally available in Northern Ireland.

CPD accreditation (2 external clinical CPD Points from the Royal College of Physicians) has been obtained for the event: Registration is required for Certification.

Please Click Here to Register Now!

Where?
Lecture Theatre, Medical Biology Centre, Queen’s University Belfast, Lisburn Road, Belfast

When?
18.00 to 21.00, 24 March 2015

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!

It’s Rare Disease Day — time for a launch or two!

Local advocates call for action on international Rare Disease Day as shocking new report highlights shortcomings in Health and Social Care for people with rare diseases

A new report launched by the Patient and Client Council at Stormont today to coincide with international Rare Disease Day captures how people affected by rare diseases in Northern Ireland frequently face long delays in accessing a diagnosis for their condition and suffer a poor experience of Health and Social Care in Northern Ireland.

The report which is based on a survey conducted of 132 people (both patients and carers) affected by over 60 different rare diseases reveals:

  • 29% of patients wait between 1 and 5 years for a correct diagnosis and over 20% wait over 5 years;
  • 34% of patients are misdiagnosed – 20% of which received inappropriate treatment as a result;
  • Patients have to attend multiple appointments with different health professionals to obtain a diagnosis and it is frequently a battle to do so;
  • 57% of people caring for a person with a rare disease do so for more than 20 hours a day;
  • Over 40% of patients described their experience of the health and social care service in Northern Ireland as “poor” or “very poor”, and nearly a quarter described it as “average”. Only a third of patients described their experience as “very good” or “excellent”;
  • Patients also reported feeling ignored by doctors, and that there is a lack of information and support for rare disease patients.

These findings come as no surprise to the patients and families involved in the Northern Ireland Rare Disease Partnership (NIRDP) which is also being officially launched today.  The NIRDP has been set up to bring together those living with a rare disease, and the clinicians, researchers and others working in the field, to work collaboratively to raise awareness, improve professional training and service provision, and campaign for those living with a rare disease in Northern Ireland.

NIRDP Chair, Christine Collins said:

“The findings of this important Patient and Client Council report reaffirm the need for a strong grass roots organisation here in Northern Ireland working in partnership to improve services and offer support to those living with rare diseases and their carers. We want to bring together the expert knowledge, skills and commitment of the clinicians and researchers and the experience and insights of those living with rare diseases, to put an end to the situation where people rattle around the health system without a diagnosis and fail to get the treatment, care and support they need.”

The NIRDP, along with Rare Disease UK, are calling for a UK rare disease plan to improve services and facilitate much needed research into rare diseases, both in Northern Ireland and across the UK. It is hoped the draft plan will be launched for public consultation today.

The Chair of Rare Disease UK, Alastair Kent OBE said:

“Like all patients, those with rare diseases want to be confident that the health service is doing the best it can to respond to their needs. Services for rare disease patients and their families need to incorporate current scientific possibilities delivered to the highest possible standards of good practice. A plan for rare diseases will create a framework that will allow for the best use of the expertise that exists in Northern Ireland, and ensure that this is effectively integrated with services and support elsewhere in the UK and Ireland. Patients and families need to have confidence that the health service is there for them as it is for everyone else. A plan for rare diseases is a tangible expression of commitment to these patients and families, and a yardstick by which we will be able to measure progress.”

Welcome to the NI Rare Disease Partnership

Who are we? We are a not for profit organisation, bringing together those living with a rare disease and organisations representing them: clinicians and other health professionals; researchers and producers of specialist medicines and equipment; health policy makers and academics. NIRDP is a Company Limited by Guarantee, Registered in Northern Ireland: Number NI 611153

What do we do? Advocate, educate and innovate on behalf of those living or working with rare disease in Northern Ireland.

Why? Approximately 100,000 people are living with a rare disease in NI. Collectively, rare diseases are not rare. Unfortunately, that’s not how it feels when a loved one is mysteriously ill and no one seems to know what it is; or when they are eventually diagnosed with a disease that nobody’s ever heard of. Our aim is to work constructively with stakeholders and service delivery organisations to find practical ways of improving the quality of life, treatment and care for those with rare diseases in Northern Ireland.

Where? People live with rare diseases right across NI- in every GP practice and political constituency, in towns and townlands.

When? Members of the partnership are living or working with rare disease every day. The formal launch of NIRDP takes place on 29th February, International Rare Disease Day.

Do you know anyone with a rare disease? Do you want to make sure their needs are considered; that their voice is heard; that they get support; that the family is not isolated?

Contact us:

email info@nirdp.org.uk

telephone: Sarah McCandless at the Patient and Client Council 0800 917 0222