DOCTORS and nurses at the Great Western Hospital signed a charter last week to benefit patients with Motor Neurone Disease.

Staff backed patients by signing a charter that said they would care for patients to the best of their ability and with the respect and dignity they deserve.

It was presented to them by the North Wiltshire branch of the Motor Neurone Disease Association on Wednesday.

At a national level, the charity is hoping every hospital and medical staff will back the five-point charter which sets out basic principles of care and patients’ right to be treated as individuals, with respect and dignity.

“The way people with Motor Neurone Disease are treated is not standard around the country,” said Alison Aviss, group chairman.

“We work closely with the neurology team at GWH and it was their idea to say ‘Why don’t we get some of the nurse and staff together and sign that charter?’.

“This is the Association’s charter and the idea is that the more people sign it the louder the voice we will have with the Government.”

Motor Neurone Disease is a progressive illness that attacks the motor neurones, or nerves, in the brain and spinal cord.

This means messages gradually stop reaching muscles, which leads to weakness and wasting. MND can affect how people walk, talk, eat, drink and breathe. There is currently no cure.

Alison added: “Sadly there is no cure for MND and we only have palliative care available to people.

“Together Dr Graham Lennox and his team are raising standards within Swindon and North Wiltshire. It is almost a model area.

“But we want care to be universally available throughout the country.”