Group appoints first Huntington’s disease nurse consultant

A care home group has appointed its first dedicated nurse consultant for people with Huntington’s disease.

Joanna McCabe is taking on the role for Exemplar Health Care, which runs more than 50 care homes across England and specialises in care for people with complex needs.

“I cannot advocate strongly enough for the vital need for more expert Huntington’s disease care settings”

Joanna McCabe

The group currently supports more than 100 people living with Huntington’s disease – a genetic condition that stops part of the brain working over time.

As nurse consultant, Ms McCabe will aim to bolster the care for people with the condition, including through improved staff training and expanded connections with other specialists.

Ms McCabe has 17 years of experience working in settings and services that support people living with Huntington’s disease.

She most recently worked as a specialist advisor for the Huntington’s Disease Association (HDA).

At HAD, she was a key member of the team that developed the charity’s accreditation programme for care homes that show they can meet the needs of people with the condition.

Currently, two care homes at Exemplar Health Care have the quality mark and one of Ms McCabe’s programmes of work will be helping to increase this number.

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Ms McCabe said she was “delighted” about her new appointment as Huntington’s disease nurse consultant.

“In more than three decades of working in healthcare, I’ve seen every side of this neuro-disability and how it affects individuals and their loved ones,” she added.

“With that in mind, I cannot advocate strongly enough for the vital need for more expert Huntington’s disease care settings.

“I’m excited to join Exemplar Health Care to make this a reality so that even more people with Huntington’s disease can access the specialist care they deserve.”

Helen Baxendale, clinical director at Exemplar Health Care, welcomed Ms McCabe’s appointment.

“This is a highly complex condition that demands a high level of strategic planning and expertise to deliver effective care and, as we continue to invest and grow our team of experts, Joanna’s appointment represents a great boost to an already fantastic team,” she said.

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