By Hal Bailey
The North West Regional Conference was held on Saturday 2nd July at Crewe Hall, in Haslington, Crewe.
The conference was very well attended, with 87 delegates, including professionals and exhibitors and also members of Branches. Representing the Cheshire Branch were Margaret and myself, plus 16 friends and members of the Branch.
The facilities at the venue were very good, and we were treated to lunch plus refreshments throughout the day.
The day was divided into 3 sessions, chaired by Alun Owen, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Association with ample time for networking, exhibitors and refreshments.
The exhibitors included Fresenius Kabi, Liberator and Driving Mobility, plus numerous stalls hosted by the Association covering all the services they provide. For the first time this year there were ‘drop-in-sessions’ provided by Royal Stoke Ventilation Team, ACE Centre in Oldham and the East Cheshire Hospice.
The first session on Progress on National and Regional Care was presented by Chris Bennett, the Regional Delivery Manager for the area.
The second session of the morning was given by Chris James, Director of External Affairs and Greg Broadhurst from the Manchester Branch ( who was called up at the last minute as the scheduled speaker couldn’t make it) on Raising Awareness and Driving up Standards, and Greg talked about how he got involved with campaigning and how it is so important.
The session after lunch on Update of Healthcare Research was given by Belinda Cupid, Head of Research, and Professor Carolyn Young, Consultant Neurologist and Honorary Senior Lecturer at the Walton Centre for Neurology and Neurosurgery.
Professor Carolyn Young gave an excellent update on TONiC. It is the largest study in the UK examining the factors that influence quality of life in patients with neurological conditions.
It is supported and part-funded by the MND Association. TONiC will hopefully have a significant and positive impact on the lives of all patients living with neurological conditions, regardless of symptoms, stage of illness, age or social status.
The day was summed up by Sally Light, Chief Executive of the Association highlighting the fact that the content of the regional conferences is becoming more local and that this trend will continue with future regional conferences.
To sum up, the day was very enjoyable. As well as being informative, it brings people together and you can exchange views with individuals you probably would not meet if it weren’t for these types of events.