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Funding secured for Jersey’s only motor neurone disease nurse

A specialist nurse can continue to provide care to patients with motor neurone disease on the Channel Island of Jersey thanks to new funding, it has been announced.

The post, which is currently held by Pat MacFarland, will be able to continue until the end of this year using existing budgets secured by the Health and Community Services (HCS).

“We can now look forward to the health department caring for those with MND in Jersey with the dignity and respect they deserve”

Motor Neurone Disease Association

Motor neurone disease is an uncommon condition that affects the brain and nerves. It causes weakness that gets worse over time.

Since March 2023, the Motor Neurone Disease Association (MNDA) in Jersey has paid for Ms McFarland to hold the specialist nurse role on the island.

Due to funding difficulties, there were concerns that the service would stop in October 2023, which had created uncertainty for patients, carers and families.

However, the Government of Jersey announced yesterday that it had reinstated the funding to support the role for the rest of the year.

It also said it would consider permanent funding for the post within the HCS from January 2024.

In a statement, the MNDA said: “All of us at Motor Neurone Disease Association Jersey are delighted to learn that the future of the specialist nursing role, dedicated to those living with MND on the island, has been secured.

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“The number of people in Jersey with this devastating and incurable disease has nearly tripled in recent years and, since its creation three years ago, the role has transformed the care for these individuals.”

The association thanked the minister for health and social services, Karen Wilson, and the assistant minister for health and social services, Malcolm Ferrey, for their efforts in securing long-term funding for the role.

“We can now look forward to the health department caring for those with MND in Jersey with the dignity and respect they deserve,” it said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Mr Ferrey said: “We are delighted to have secured funding to support this incredible service. We realise how vital this support for Islanders with motor neurone disease is, and we are happy that we can continue this great work with the support of the MNDA.”

In addition, the chief officer at HCS, Chris Brown, said: “This valuable service will be considered as part of the HCS Financial Planning process for 2024.

“We hope this reassures patients, carers and families that HCS are committed to ensuring Islanders receive the specialist care.”

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