In 2009, the national charity Muscular Dystrophy UK published Building on the Foundations, a report into their major UK review of neuromuscular services within the NHS, the Walton Report.
It highlighted the need for improvement in a wide range of services including improved access to specialist physiotherapy, physical therapy and hydrotherapy. In both the East and West Midlands regions, the problems of overstretched and under-resourced specialised neuromuscular services were highlighted.
Muscular Dystrophy UK has since achieved some great improvements through their campaigns work, including the introduction of specialist regional Care Advisor positions in the NHS, including one each in the East and West Midlands. However the lack of access to ongoing physiotherapy remains a serious problem.
Regular physiotherapy slows the deterioration of muscles, helping users to stay strong and flexible, and treats pain associated with the condition. It also helps cut the number of emergency hospital admissions, which cause considerable distress and can further damage a person’s health, whilst costing the NHS a preventable £6.6million per year.