Winning projects from our first SMA MasterClass!

26 Apr 2024

Our first ever MasterClass in spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) also saw an excellent range of intermodule workplace projects, seeking to improve services for SMA, or the experiences of those receiving them. An 'education with impact' report summarising the transferable learning from this class will be available soon, but in the meantime…

Our sincere congratulations go to…..

Clinical fellow in paediatric neurology Ushma Patel and neuromuscular care advisor Yvonne Julien for their winning project to improve recognition and early referral within primary care by reviewing and addressing education gaps amongst local health visitors.

The SMA paediatric pathway states 'Early recognition, diagnosis and access to treatment are essential to ensure the best possible quality of life and health outcomes for an infant with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA)' and this excellent project sought to improve this via education for health visitors.

Developing an education session and creating a pre- and post-session questionnaire, they measured the level of understanding around SMA, its recognition, assessment and referral processes, delivered an education session, then measured the improvement in that understanding as a result of the session.

Their work highlights the importance of educational interventions in empowering healthcare professionals to identify and manage SMA cases effectively, stressing the urgency of early intervention for better outcomes.

Ushma and Yvonne with their winning projects' poster

Congratulations also go to our runner up projects, looking at transitioning young adults, and risdiplam outcomes respectively.

Aware of the challenges for young people living with SMA and the way that these can be compounded by the difficulties of transitioning into adult services, NMD adult physiotherapist Emma Manchester and neuromuscular transition nurse specialist Lisa Cutsey developed a monthly combined neuromuscular-respiratory clinic for 16–24-year-olds with SMA and other complex neuromuscular diseases.

Emma and Lisa with faculty members Channa, Min and Vasantha

In a very different project, Katie Nevin, a clinical specialist physiotherapist in neuromuscular disorders, worked with her team to carry out an online survey to understand the impact of risdiplam on their patients.

Katie with faculty members Channa, Min and Vasantha

Raising awareness, improving outcomes

Neuromuscular Academy is the first bespoke course for healthcare professionals to receive expert training in neuromuscular conditions like spinal muscular atrophy.