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 …

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.

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

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