Holding the Charter:  Councillor Bill Borrett, Executive Director of Adult Social Services, James Bullion, representatives from MND Association (Sue Heal second from right) and Councillor Joe Mooney. Photo supplied By Norfolk CC


Norfolk County Council’s Adult Social Care Committee has agreed to support the Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Charter raising awareness of the needs of local people living with this terminal disease, their families and carers. By supporting the MND Charter, the council pledges to promote the Charter amongst all councillors, council staff, partner organisations and health and social care professionals who deliver services for the council. It was adopted at the Adult Social Care Committee meeting held on 23 January.

MND is a fatal, often rapidly progressing disease that can leave people locked in a failing body, unable to move, talk and eventually breathe. It kills around a third of people within a year of diagnosis, and more than half within two years. Whilst some will live with the condition for a number of years there is no cure.

Unfortunately, this condition is still little understood and this contributes to many people with MND waiting a long time for a diagnosis, and not always receiving the care and support they need. The MND Charter was launched to change this.

The MND Charter is a statement of the respect, care and support that people living with MND and their carers deserve and should expect. The five points of the Charter are:

The right to an early diagnosis and information
The right to access quality care and treatments
The right to be treated as individuals and with dignity and respect
The right to maximise their quality of life
Carers of people with MND have the right to be valued, respected, listened to and well-supported
Sue Heal, who enlisted the help of Councillor Joe Mooney to campaign to have the Council support the Charter said: “I am delighted with today’s result. I look forward to working in partnership with the Adult Social Care Committee and full Council to raise awareness of MND and the needs of people living with the disease.”

Wymondham Councillor Joe Mooney said: “I am very pleased that members of the Adult Social Care Committee voted in favour to support the excellent MND Charter. It will help raise awareness of the needs of local people living with this devastating disease and for that very reason I am very happy with the outcome of the meeting.”

Bill Borrett, Chairman of the Adult Social Care Committee said: “I fully support this Charter and with the full backing of the Committee, we can actively support the work of the Motor Neurone Disease Association, to make a real difference and improve the lives of people living with this fatal disease.”

Alice Fuller, Campaigns Manager (East), MND Association said, “By adopting the MND Charter councillors have sent a powerful message to Norfolk residents facing this devastating disease that their representatives understand and have their backs. We hope this is the first step towards realising the vision of right care, in the right place, at the right time, as set out in our Charter.”

The Charter will now go to Full Council in April for ratification.

It remains to be seen whether Norfolk or any other County Council will be able to live up to the expectations of the Charter at a time when the Conservative Government have taken away billions from the council social care budgets. When protestors voiced their opinions at last year’s budget cuts meeting in February 2016 the Chairman attempted, unsuccessfully, to clear the public out of the council chamber. This year the County Council are due to meet next on 20th February at 10.00am.