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Brighton & Sussex Medical School

About us

About us

The Sussex Motor Neurone Disease Care and Research Network commenced on 1 December 2016 with funding from the Motor Neurone Disease Association. The primary goal of the Network is to improve support and care for people with Motor Neurone Disease (MND) living in Sussex.

The Sussex MND Network is the 20th MND Association Care Centre/Network supported by the MND Association since the first Centre (the King’s MND Care and Research Centre) was established by Professor PN Leigh in 1995.

Meet the team

Dr Andrew Barritt, Director

Dr Barritt was trained at Guy’s, King’s and St Thomas’ School of Medicine.  He first undertook research into corticospinal tract injury with Professor Elizabeth Bradbury during an intercalated Neuroscience BSc in 2004 and graduated with his primary medical degree in 2007. Higher specialist training in Neurology was completed at Hurstwood Park Neurological Centre within Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust and at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in Queen Square. He also graduated from the University of Brighton in 2020 having completed his PhD investigating how detailed magnetic resonance neuroimaging techniques might shed light on the mechanisms of neurodegeneration in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. He was recently appointed as a consultant neurologist in Brighton, is co-director of the Sussex MND Care and Research Network and continues his imaging research in ALS within Brighton and Sussex Medical School.

More about Andrew Barritt >

Rachel Thomson, Coordinator

Rachel Thomson's role is to work with all our partners and stakeholders on delivery of the Network objectives. Rachel has many years’ experience of working with people with MND as an NHS Speech and Language Therapist.

more about Rachel Thomson >

Network objectives

2021-2024

  1. To ensure access to specialist non-invasive ventilation services close to the person’s home.
  2. To improve the identification of and support for cognitive and emotional/psychological difficulties.
  3. To work with local stakeholders and MND Association colleagues to both establish new and support existing MND Specialist practitioner posts.
  4. To explore and confirm the new structures through which MND network services will be delivered across Sussex.
  5. To ensure continued access for PABMND to research across Sussex.
  6. To establish and sustain an MND Network patient and public involvement group.
  7. To develop a tool to measure the impact of services on the well-being and quality of life of people with MND.
  8. To integrate new ways of working into MND care, including through the use of technology.
  9. To audit MND care.
  10. To facilitate, develop and deliver education sessions to health and social care professionals across Sussex

Network governance

About the network governance.

  • The network is funded by a four-year grant from the MND Association.  
  • Oversight of the Network’s activities and objectives is provided by the Management Group, and the Steering Committee.
  • The Management group is responsible to the Network Steering Committee for delivery of the agreed programme.
  • The Management Group is made up of senior health care professionals from both East and West Sussex. All of the members have extensive experience of working with PABMND. The management group meets bimonthly and the coordinator also reports to them on a monthly basis.
  • The Management Group is responsible for; day-to-day oversight of Network activities and the work of the Network Coordinator, liaison with University and NHS governance structures and liaison with partners/stakeholders.
  • The Network Steering Committee is made up of; the Network Director and Coordinator, members of the Network Management Group, the MND Association Director of Care, Head of region, Service Development manager and Area Support Coordinator, representatives of the three Sussex MND Association branches, people with MND and other health care professionals involved in MND.
  • The Steering Committee meets twice per year. 
  • The role of the Steering Committee is to oversee the work of the network, ensuring the objectives outlined in the contract with the MND Association are fulfilled.

The MND Association

The MND Association is a membership organisation with over 9,000 members forming a powerful national and local network that provides information and support alongside fighting for improved services.

more about the MND Association membership network >