(pictured left to right) Cllr Steve Williams, Debbie Williams (MND Associate Visitor), Yvonne Williams, recent MND carer and Cllr. Chris Blakeley
Wirral Council has become the first council in Merseyside to commit to adopting the Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Charter after campaigners contacted councillors in the summer, asking for action to improve the way in which people with MND are supported.
MND is a fatal, rapidly progressing disease that can leave people locked in a failing body, unable to move, talk and eventually breathe. It kills around a third of people within a year of diagnosis, and more than half within two years. There is no cure.
At Monday night’s meeting of the People Overview & Scrutiny Committee, councillors heard how, at any one time, there are around 20/25 people in Wirral living with MND.
The move follows a call by the MND Association to ensure councils adopt the MND Charter as a clear commitment of their support to people with MND and their carers.
There is no cure for the disease and so the Motor Neurone Disease Association, representing people with the disease, their families and friends, campaigns for better care, as well as the right to early diagnosis. In some cases, people have waited up to three years for a diagnosis.
Councillor Steve Williams, who, with Cllr. Chris Blakeley, met campaigners and submitted the request for better care, said: “Having met the MND Association’s Wirral group and listened to their stories, I am really pleased that Wirral Council has now agreed to support them by adopting their Charter. I hope we will now be able to speed up diagnosis and improve the standards of care for people with this complex and cruel disease.”
Debbie Williams, speaking on behalf of the Association’s Wirral group, added: “The importance of the MND Charter is undeniable. We want everyone to be clear that access to the right care, in the right place, at the right time, as set out in our Charter, can transform lives.”