Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust is delighted to announce that it has become the UK ’s first Centre of Excellence for Childhood Lupus. To celebrate this fantastic achievement, the Trust held an official opening which took place in October 2010.
The event will provide an opportunity to learn more about Childhood Lupus and its treatment, the advancements in research and why it’s so important to have a Centre of Excellence at Alder Hey. Visitors will also have a chance to hear from patients and their families who are living with this severe condition.
Angela Jones, Chair of Alder Hey said: “This status is a huge achievement which sets a benchmark for all UK paediatric services to provide outstanding multi-disciplinary secondary and tertiary care for children with rheumatic disorders such as Childhood Lupus.“
Childhood Lupus is a severe disease where the body’s immune system reacts to its own cells, causing autoantibodies to be produced and resulting in inflammation and damage to many organs of the body. There is no cure and despite advances in treatment, the damage to organs can be severe and occasionally life threatening.
Dr Michael Beresford, Honorary Consultant Paediatric Rheumatologist at Alder Hey said: “As a Centre of Excellence our patients, their families and the clinical team work in partnership in all aspects of care. Patients have the assurance that the team caring for them has been recognised nationally, and judged independently by a charity whose remit is to support the needs and very best care of patients and their families. Alder Hey is also at the forefront of research aiming for better understanding and treatment of Lupus.”
Alder Hey’s Centre of Excellence status was awarded by Lupus UK , the national charity supporting people with Lupus and their families. In receiving this honour, the Trust is leading the way in providing care for children with Lupus and also in undertaking clinical research to advance the knowledge and care of children with the disease.
Jane Dunnage, Lupus UK said: “Lupus is a difficult illness to live with at any age, but when it affects young people, they have many added burdens like school, exams, developing emotions and relationships to cope with.
“We at LUPUS UK have been extremely impressed by the excellent care given to all patients by the Rheumatology Team at Alder Hey Hospital and I am delighted to present them with our Centres of Excellence award in recognition of their focus on putting the child at the centre of everything they do.”
The Liverpool Clinical Academic Department of Paediatric Rheumatology is based at Alder Hey and in the Institute of Child Health , University of Liverpool. The Department is recognised as one of the leading paediatric rheumatology units in the UK. Alder Hey cares for children and teenagers with a wide range of musculoskeletal and rheumatological conditions (including Lupus) from across the whole of the North West, North Wales and beyond. The Trust is amongst the very top UK Paediatric Rheumatology Research Groups and is extremely active in collaborative research with all major paediatric rheumatology research networks across the UK and internationally.