Community of care comes together to benefit those with MND

Clinicians at Calvary Bethlehem hospital in Melbourne hope a new community of practice will lend support and share knowledge among health and support teams caring for people with Motor Neurone Disease (MND).

The Community of Practice (CoP) was launched this month in partnership with MND Victoria and Palliative Care Victoria and, importantly, people with lived experience of MND.

About the Community of Practice

The first online forum brought together 50 health professionals and service providers from around Victoria who care for people living with MND, as well as some from Tasmania and NSW.

Run from the new Calvary Kooyong precinct, the inaugural session was hosted by Calvary Bethlehem’s Palliative Medicine Specialist Dharshini Kunahlan and Director of Neurology Susan Mathers.

“The first meeting was a success, with participants sharing their stories, knowledge and hopes for future innovation, including ways to put the needs and preferences of people living with MND and those caring for them at the centre of what we do,” Dharshini said.

“This CoP aims to be a shared learning space for health professionals and MND service providers to facilitate knowledge sharing, peer support and collaboration in building skills, knowledge and research capacity to improve service delivery to people living with MND.”

A specialist hospital with a recognised multidisciplinary approach to care, Calvary Bethlehem is a statewide provider for those with Progressive Neurological Disease, including Motor Neurone Disease, and also provides a specialist palliative care service.

“While we are happy to share our expertise, this is a collaboration where we can all learn from each other to benefit those in our communities who are living with MND as patients or carers,” Dr Mathers said.

The next meeting of the Community of Practice for MND Care is scheduled for early September. If you’d like to join or be interested in finding out more, please email [email protected].

It is estimated that every day in Australia, two people are diagnosed with MND and two people die from the disease. More than 2300 Australians are thought to be living with MND at any one time.

June 21 each year marks Global MND Awareness Day, an opportunity to recognise the impact that MND has on people around the world.