Mum’s plea to boost support for sufferers

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A WOMAN from Daventry whose son has a muscle wasting condition, is supporting calls for better support care.

Linda Ball, who lives on Ashby Fields, is demanding action from health leaders to increase spending on preventative and support care.

Mrs Ball’s appeal comes after national charity the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign presented a report estimating nearly 40 per cent of the £81 million annual cost of emergency hospital care for people with muscle-wasting disease is unnecessary and a direct result of failure to invest in specialist treatment to manage the conditions.

Mrs Ball lost her brother to Duchenne muscular dystrophy and her 10-year-old son Daniel also has the condition.

She said: “Specialist care can make the difference even if it’s simple things.

“Dan is getting to the stage where he falls a lot, and regular physiotherapy is vital to keeping him on his feet and out of a wheelchair for as long as possible.

“If someone’s having difficulties, a physio suggesting different ways to stand up can help prevent falls and injuries and emergency treatment costs.

“Duchenne can weaken bones and if they break their arm there’s a chance the muscles will weaken even more.”

The campaign says a 2010 review into treatment for muscle-wasting disease has failed to translate into improvements, with just one Nottingham-based care advisor to support thousands of affected families across the region.

Mrs Ball said: “It is so difficult for us to stomach the news that the East Midlands is spending millions every year on emergency treatment for people with muscle-wasting disease, while the NHS is dragging its heels on spending a fraction of this amount on proper specialist care.

“What makes it so frustrating is that investing in patients’ well-being could wipe nearly 40 per cent off the region’s bill for emergency care – £2.2 million. It’s just such a senseless waste.”

She added: “An additional concern is that people with Duchenne used to have a life expectancy of 20 years, so there’s only ever really been paediatric care in place. But now people with the condition are living longer so that’s something else that needs investment.”