Great Ormond Street Hospital Senior Physiotherapist

Nicola Burnett
Children with Duchenne lose ambulation (the ability to walk) around their early teens. During this time and beyond, physiotherapy and focus on upper body strength are vital for non-ambulant patients to help maintain function and quality of life.

The Duchenne Research Fund has awarded a grant to Great Ormond Street Hospital to establish a dedicated non-ambulant clinic at the Dubowitz Neuromuscular Centre. The grant supports the post of Senior Physiotherapist Nicola Burnett (pictured), who had been part of the neuromuscular physiotherapy team at GOSH for two years prior to taking up this role. She previously worked at UCH in London and St. George’s Hospital in Tooting before working for 17 years in a paediatric community post in Kent where she was the paediatric lead for neuromuscular conditions.

Blood samples

Clinical post


Funded in 2019-22

London, UK

Learn more about the impact of this grant

Thanks to the funds provided by the DRF, we at the Dubowitz Neuromuscular Centre have been able to establish a new joint multi-disciplinary clinic. This clinic includes physiotherapy assessment and advice alongside the doctors’ clinical review, and it is dedicated to young people with Duchenne muscular dystrophy who are non-ambulant. In particular, with this help we are now able to provide a more complete and regular clinical service to families and patients, and continue with six-monthly physiotherapy assessment for all boys with Duchenne around and after loss of ambulation, up until transition to adulthood.

Since the grant was awarded, we have seen more than 130 patients in this clinic, across more than 500 appointments. We are also looking more in detail into upper limb strength using physiotherapy tools and scales to assess function in the upper body. We are keen to further develop this new clinic and make it a permanent part of the service we provide at GOSH, and further improve the care we provide to our young patients and their families. Crucially we were able to continue this service throughout the pandemic, whether in person or virtually.

Dr Anna Sarkozy

Consultant in Neuromuscular Disorders, Great Ormond Street Hospital

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