The Walton Centre Expands Community Care

The Integrated Neurology Nurse Specialist team. Lead nurse Lydia Vallance is pictured centre

THE Walton Centre’s specialist nursing service is now available to more patients with long-term neurological conditions as extra community clinics are created for patients following funding from NHS England.

The Walton Centre and partners who collectively form the Neuro Network was named an NHS Vanguard under the New Care Models scheme which means they have national support to pioneer new ways of working that benefit patients.

The Neuro Network Vanguard has funded four extra Integrated Neurology Nurse Specialists which means the current service provided by The Walton Centre can be expanded.

Previously, The Walton Centre was able to provide patients with access to these specialist nurses in St Helens and Knowsley, Southport, and parts of Wirral.

Now the service covers the whole of Cheshire and Merseyside with seven nurses available in community clinics across the patch. The nurses are also able to make home visits which means patients do not always have to travel to hospital.

The service is for patients with long-term conditions like MS, MND, Epilepsy and Parkinson’s Disease and the clinics are open to anyone who is under the care of a Walton Centre consultant.

Lydia Vallance is the lead for the service, she said: “It’s fantastic news that we are now able to expand the service to cover all of our region. The feedback we have from patients is that they are very grateful to be seen by somebody who understands their condition closer to home.

“We get to spend time with the patient to fully assess any issues and then we are able to help the patients manage their long term condition. We are able to prescribe medications if required and arrange referrals for appropriate health professionals to be involved with the patients care.”

Tom and Marge Reynolds benefit from the service after Tom was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 2011.

Tom said: “This service makes a huge difference to us. When you are initially diagnosed you spend the first couple of months in a daze, you need some information. Having a nurse that specialises in Parkinson’s Disease was not something I knew existed. She has kept us informed and made a big difference.  It’s important to have that point of contact. It might be a specialist you need, or a dietician, but you have that point of contact who can direct you.

“I think Vanguard is an exciting step to bringing about what patients need.”

The expansion of the Integrated Neurology Nurse Specialist service is one of the projects within the wider Vanguard programme the Neuro Network is carrying out across Cheshire and Merseyside.

Find out more about the Vanguard programme by searching Neuro Network at www.thewaltoncentre.nhs.uk