By Sarah Gillett, Managing Director

This year has been unprecedented in terms of the number of courses we have held, the quality improvements projects delivered and the new contacts who have shown interest in our training programmes. The Academy has prided itself on using education to effect change in practice for over 16 years and we are excited to see how these courses are stimulating interest in transforming neurology care.

This year we have expanded the number and type of courses, all of which have been fully booked. We’ve shone a spotlight on many of our academy stars who have poured their passion and enthusiasm into quality improvements for their services but aside from the stars we highlighted, all the clinicians on our courses have in some way been able to shape their learning into service improvements.

Aside from our regular Foundation and Advanced Parkinson’s MasterClasses in July, the Parkinson’s Academy presented Cutting Edge Science for Parkinson’s Clinicians attended by a diverse audience of neurologists, care of the elderly physicians, psychiatrists and Parkinson’s nurse specialists. The meeting was a chance to review advances in the clinical understanding of Parkinson’s and how to build these into routine clinical practice. The meeting was streamed live via webinar and attracted a significant number of on-line delegates as well as those who attended the meeting in person. This style of delivery was very welcome to a range of clinician’s who struggle to get time away from work. We are holding a similar meeting in 2019, so ensure you save the date, more details are within the newsletter.

December 2018 also saw delivery of a “Rethinking Palliative Care” a Parkinson’s and dementia MasterClass specifically highlighting how palliative care, available from diagnosis onwards, can significantly improve quality of life. In March 2019 a second similar programme will open its doors to include a wider range of neurological conditions including MS and MND.

The MS Academy has gone from strength to strength, this year the pinnacle being the Variance meeting we held in Birmingham in November, attended by Prof Adrian Williams representing NHS England and Dr Geraint Fuller lead for the Get it Right First Time (GIRFT) programme. Next year will be a significant year for neurology through GIRFT and we are delighted to be helping to shape future neurology strategy through our regional variance leads, each of which are leading the programme to shape change. With this in mind and following comments from Prof Gavin Giovannoni we will be adopting the following title for this network in the new year, The British MS Health Care Professionals Society.

We established the academic faculty and strategic plan for the Headache and Migraine Academy which will be opening its doors in 2019 as well as our Neuropharmacist training, which is again another fully booked course being held early in the new year. The range of healthcare professionals interested in developing wider knowledge in neurology has been significant perhaps evidenced through the huge interest we are seeing through our website, and the service quality improvement projects we are sharing here. This year alone we have had 2 million visitors to the site which has included a steady stream of unique (first time) clinical visitors. In October we received almost 8,000 unique visitors and 7,000 in November. This is truly amazing and no doubt why our courses are full!

A final thank you must go to all our pharma and charity partners who support much of the work that’s undertaken. Without them we would not be as successful in ensuring the quality improvements that have materialised over the years. We hope that through their engagement with us this has strengthened their relationships with clinical teams.

From the Academy team and myself, have a wonderful Christmas and a healthy and happy New Year. We look forward to working with you all in 2019.

 

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