Neurology Service

COVID-19 Advice to Neurology Patients

COVID-19: Advice to Neurology Patients - updated 22.04.20

Neurology Service update – 1 July 2020

As the threat of COVID19 has eased on the Island and restrictions are gradually lifting, the Neurologists have recommenced face to face consultations, although some still remain via telephone.  The Neurology Nurse Specialist is now seeing all clinic patients face to face.

If a telephone appointment is preferable, please contact the Patient Information Centre (PIC) telephone 650103, and we shall try to accommodate the request, if clinically appropriate.

Those with symptoms of Covid-19 should NOT attend their appointment.  Instead contact PIC telephone 650103 to rebook for a later date when clear of symptoms. 

Neurology Outpatient Clinics 

For the foreseeable future, all outpatient clinics with the Visiting Consultant Neurologists Drs Bracewell and Pietkiewicz have been cancelled as they are not able to travel to the Island and are being redeployed to other urgent clinical duties in Liverpool.  The Walton Centre has cancelled all Neurology Clinics at all its satellite Hospitals throughout the North West of England and North Wales, as well as the Isle of Man.  At the Walton Centre itself, there is a very limited outpatient service for neurological emergencies only.

Where possible, we will do our best to either offer advice by letter, or conduct a consultation on the telephone.  If necessary, we will endeavour to arrange face-to-face appointments with a health professional based on the Island.

The clinics of Heidi Morris, Neurology Nurse Specialist, have also been cancelled for the foreseeable future and patients will be contacted by the Patient Information Centre (PIC) and offered a telephone consultation instead.

Please bear in mind that the number of patients with COVID-19 is growing at an ever-increasing rate, and that this will place an increasingly great burden on the NHS on the Island and in the UK over at least the next few weeks, and possibly months.  We may well find that we will not be in a position to continue to offer advice and telephone consultations for neurological problems that are not very urgent or very serious.

Blood Clinic

The Blood Clinic remains open; it is important that all patients continue to attend for any blood monitoring required for their treatment.

General advice

Full guidance for people with neurological conditions, their doctors and carers is available online.

Patients with conditions that do not affect their swallowing or breathing muscles and in whom the immune system is working normally, are not considered to be at increased risk from COVID-19.

Milder or moderate forms of many of the commoner neurological disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis and Epilepsy are not currently considered to confer increased risk, so long as the breathing and swallowing muscles are functioning well.

Advice for those with Multiple Sclerosis during the COVID-19 pandemic

The Neurology Team is working hard to continue to maintain our service and minimise the risk to our patients from the COVID-19 virus and the effects of MS.  We will not be able to speak individually to all patients throughout this challenging period but we appreciate the anxiety that the current COVID-19 pandemic has generated for patients with MS, their families and carers.  We hope that highlighting the most important sources of advice and information is of assistance at this time.

The situation with the COVID-19 epidemic is changing fast and for those who want to keep up to date with current government advice and how it affects those with MS we recommend visiting the MS Trust's website which includes the latest news and developments (https://www.mstrust.org.uk/) or their Facebook page.

Those on a disease modifying treatment should not stop taking their medication without discussing this with their MS Team. If you are taking an MS drug and wish to look at how this might affect you then you can find the advice online.

Infusions of Natalizumab (Tysabri) continue at Nobles and patients should attend for these unless they are displaying symptoms of infection eg high temperature. 

As MS Specialists, we are aware that MS does not directly affect the immune system and some, but not all patients with MS are more vulnerable to the virus. Patients who have recently received certain MS drugs and patients who have higher levels of disability are at more risk and we advise that MS patients who have any of the following risk factors should follow advice and self-isolate themselves:

  • Patients with higher levels of disability who require a wheelchair to mobilise outside of the house 
  • Patients who have received Ocrelizumab (Ocrevus) within the past 6/12 
  • Patients who have received Cladribine (Mavenclad) within the past 2 years 
  • Patients who have received Alemtuzumab (Lemtrada) within the past 4 years 
  • Patients who have received high dose steroids (Methylprednisolone) within the past 2 weeks

For Information about other specific conditions the following websites may be
useful:

Motor Neurone Disease

Myasthenia Gravis

Epilepsy

Muscular Dystrophy

Huntington's Disease

Parkinson's Patients

Specific guidance for stroke and Parkinson's patients will be issued separately and advice can be sought from the relevant local teams if required.

Patients under the care of the Visiting Neurology Consultants

For the foreseeable future, Dr Bracewell and Dr Pietkiewicz will not be able to visit the Island. All non-emergency neurology services at the Walton Centre and all its satellite sites (including Noble’s) have been suspended.

If you have Parkinson’s Disease or another form of parkinsonism and are under the care of Dr Bracewell or Dr Pietkiewicz, please contact Susan Lawley in the first instance if you require advice or support (as above). If required, Dr Bracewell, Dr Pietkiewicz (or the on call neurology consultant at the Walton Centre) will be happy to offer telephone advice to Dr Thomas and his team.

Please be aware this advice may change depending on service capabilities. 

Contact Details

Appointment enquiries:  tel +44 1624 650103

Neurology secretaries: tel +44 1624 650898 or +44 1624 650164, VoiceMail out of hours.

Neurology Nurse Specialist (for people with Multiple Sclerosis, Motor Neurone Disease, Muscular Dystrophy, Dystonia or Huntingtons Disease) tel +44 1624 650421

Working hours:  Monday – Thursday 8.30am - 5pm, Friday 8.30am - 4.30pm

Neurology team

Neurologists

The Walton Centre in Liverpool is a specialist hospital trust in the UK dedicated to providing comprehensive neurology, neurosurgery, spinal and pain management services. Its specialist staff offers a service in diagnosing and treating illnesses affecting the brain, spine and peripheral nerves and muscles, and in supporting patients suffering from a wide range of long-term neurological conditions.

A consultant neurologist from The Walton Centre visits the Isle of Man weekly, allowing inpatients to be seen and outpatient clinics to be held at Nobles Hospital. When there is no consultant neurologist on island health professionals can contact the on call consultant neurologist at The Walton Centre for advice at any time.

Neurology Nurse Specialist

The Neurology Nurse Specialist is based permanently on island and is able to provide expert assessment of needs, support and advice for adults and their families living with Multiple Sclerosis, Motor Neurone Disease, Muscular Dystrophy, Dystonia or Huntingtons Disease.

The nurse service offers:

  • Advice, information and education for patients, their families and health professionals
  • Support at diagnosis
  • Medication review, advice and information
  • Liaison and referral to other health professionals including the visiting consultant neurologists
  • Home visits (where appropriate)
  • Nurse led clinics at Nobles Hospital on Monday and Thursday afternoons (1pm - 5pm)
  • Specialist assessment and problem solving management of symptoms
  • Information and guidance on lifestyle issues

Referal

Anyone can access the nurse service for information. However to be seen by the nurse specialist you need to be an adult and either have a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis, Motor Neurone Disease, Muscular Dystrophy, Dystonia or Huntingtons Disease or be undergoing investigations for these.

Parkinsons Disease Nurse Specialist

There is a Parkinson's Disease Nurse specialist based on the Island, further information about this service can be found on our website.

Others

There is a neurology secretarial support team and also local access to neuro-physiotherapy and neuropsychology.

Many services used by the neurology team are provided on Island such as MRI and EEG. However patients are sometimes required to travel to The Walton Centre to attend subspecialty clinics, a neurosurgical review, for certain special investigations and some treatments.

Clinics

Consultant Neurologist

Thursdays  8am - 3pm

Location: Either Day Assessment and Treatment Unit (DATU) or Suite D (Medical Out Patients), Nobles

Both Neurologists run general neurology clinics on the Island, if patients require more specialist advice they are referred to the UK.

Neurology Nurse Specialist

Mondays and Thursdays  1pm - 5pm

Location: Suite D (Medical Out Patients), Nobles

Local Support Groups

Motor Neurone Disease Association IOM

Email: mndassociation@manx.net

Phone: +44 1624 801355

MS Society IOM Branch

Email: mssocietyiom@manx.net

Phone: +44 7624 452207

Uk groups and their links can be found in our Related Links area.