Council gives its support to people with motor neurone disease

Published Tuesday, 17th July 2018

Hartlepool Borough Council has formally pledged its support for local people living with motor neurone disease (MND) and their carers.

The Council’s Adult Services Committee unanimously agreed to adopt the Motor Neurone Disease Charter. Developed by the MND Association, the Charter is a statement of the respect, care and support which people living with MND and their carers deserve and should expect.

Cornerstones of the Charter include the right to an early diagnosis, the right to high quality care and treatment, the right to be treated as individuals and with dignity and respect, the right to maximise the person’s quality of life and the rights of carers.

MND is a fatal, rapidly progressing disease which can leave people locked in a failing body, unable to move, talk and eventually breathe. Ten people in Hartlepool currently have the disease.

It kills around a third of people within a year of diagnosis, and more than half within two years.

MND Charter

Left to right: Adult Services Committee Vice-Chair Councillor Mike McLaughlin and Chair Councillor Stephen Thomas, Julie Compton, Campaigns Manager (North) of the MND Association, Sandra Hamilton and her daughters Michelle Moran and Jayne Donkin, and MND Social Worker Charlotte Roberts, pictured after the Committee’s adoption of the Charter

Councillor Stephen Thomas, Chair of the Adult Services Committee, said: “This Charter will be of enormous benefit to those people with MND and their families.

“Because of the rapid nature of the disease, it’s vital that people who develop it receive the best possible care and support and the earliest possible diagnosis, and the Charter guarantees that.

“We have been working very closely with the MND Association and with local people with MND and their families and we have already put in place a designated social worker who will help them with social and emotional support and personal care.

“A report on our adoption of the Charter will be going before a future meeting of Hartlepool’s Health and Wellbeing Board where I am extremely hopeful that our health partners – including the hospital trust – and other organisations providing care and support will also adopt the Charter.”

The Council had been asked to consider adoption of the Charter by Hartlepool resident Sandra Hamilton, whose husband Brian passed away last October aged 75 just 11 months after being diagnosed with MND.

She said: “It was an extremely traumatic experience and we didn’t know where to turn for support. I am absolutely delighted that the Council has adopted the Charter.”