Over 150 occupational therapists, speech pathologists, physiotherapists, dietitians, social workers, COS, MND Clinic Coordinators, doctors and others from across NSW and beyond attended the 8th Biennial MND NSW Special Interest Group (SIG) workshop on 2 July 2019 at West Ryde. This year the MND SIG workshop was at capacity six weeks out from the event. It is a positive sign of the commitment clinicians and community care professionals who work with people living with MND have to improving their knowledge and clinical practice for the benefit of those living with the disease.

Registrants were updated with evidence based clinical and practical information from experts in their allied health field. They also were provided with opportunities to network with their fellow practitioners, exchange ideas and problem solve, particularly in the workshop sessions.

Senior clinical practitioners shared their tips and practical advice on secretion management, respiratory management, environmental controls, communication, future care planning, PEGs and tele-practice. Lyn Brown, a past carer, shared her journey of caring for her husband Alex. In one of the workshop sessions, smaller groups brainstormed improving communication and collaboration across the multidisciplinary team. MND NSW had an opportunity to share our experience on transitioning people living with MND onto the NDIS.

The evaluations were very positive for each of the 15 sessions, with over 90% of those attending rating each session as above average or excellent. As you can imagine it was a jam-packed day and as one person commented, “Great workshop-so much in so little time-might have to go to two days”. Others commented:

- “Speakers were from different areas around NSW so we can all learn from each other”

- “All sessions develop understanding of the complexities of MND care”

- “I will definitely apply to my clinical practice and share my new knowledge to my colleagues”

- “Thank you for bringing us all together!”

- “Lots of interesting topics and engaging speakers, great day”

MND NSW looks forward to conducting the next MND SIG workshop in 2021 and we thank the health and community care professionals who participated in the SIG Advisory group and ensured the program was relevant to their discipline, gave ideas, shared their expertise and presented. Thanks also to all the MND NSW staff who worked hard on the day as table hosts, facilitators and organisers. It was very much a team effort.

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