NHS accused of muscular dystrophy neglect

By politics.co.uk staff

NHS patients with rare conditions like muscular dystrophy are not receiving the treatment they should, parliamentarians have said.

A report by John Walton out today criticises the NHS for not ensuring the 60,000 babies, children and adults in Britain with the inherited condition receive services to the quality they should.

It wants to see the appointment of a person responsible for improving services in each of the ten NHS specialised commissioning groups across the country.

Neuromuscular services should be recognised as specialised by the Department of Health, while clinical guidelines for muscular dystrophy should be published, it demands.

Lord Walton said: “Having specialised in neuromuscular conditions since the 1950s I have a personal interest in the level of health and social care services available to those living with these difficult conditions.

“Research and care have come a long way over the last five decades. However it is clear that this progress is not being widely transferred to these vulnerable patients.”

Neuromuscular conditions are characterised by the loss of muscle strength, progressive muscle wasting or nerve deterioration, according to the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign.

Its chairman Philip Butcher said: “I hope that the Walton Report will help to put pressure on the NHS to start providing the standard of care that these patients so dearly need and deserve.”