Heads Up! 2014 Allied Professionals Forum

Thon Hotel EU
Brussels, Belgium





The International Alliance of ALS/MND Associations and the MNDA are hosting a one-day Allied Professionals Forum in Brussels, Belgium on 4 December 2014. This seminar, specifically for allied health and social care professionals, is held between the International Alliance Meeting (2-3 December) and the International Symposium on ALS/MND (5-7 December).

The rapid and relentless progression of ALS/MND poses many challenges for people who live with this disease, as well as their carers and health and social care providers. The Allied Professionals Forum is an opportunity for health professionals to share their experiences, knowledge and strategies of caring for people with ALS/MND with their international peers.

The aim of this program is to promote the exchange of information on good practice and to enable health and social care professionals from all parts of the world to provide the highest quality care possible for people with ALS/MND through education and open dialogue.

Presenters discuss the hands-on work we all do in supporting people who live with ALS/MND. They review and discuss professional strategies and practices and report on their impact. Practice generates huge amounts of evidence supporting good initiatives that can be applied by others. This is the kind of practice-based evidence we’d like you to share!

Make a difference to people with ALS/MND and those that care for them by sharing your knowledge and experience!

The APF Programme Committee is particularly interested in receiving abstracts which:

  • demonstrate practical management strategies
  • provide opportunities to reflect on options and solutions
  • stimulate understanding and learning, and the ability to translate this into practice
  • reflect international differences and similarities in care management

The Call for Abstracts will be distributed on 30 April 2014.
The deadline to receive abstracts will be 1 June 2014.

Abstracts will only be accepted on the official abstract submission form, which will appear on our website. 

We invite you to submit a presentation abstract that addresses one of our key themes for 2014. The themes are described below.


Changing Practice – What practice changes have you initiated that have improved outcomes for people with ALS/MND and their families? How were they implemented? Do you have supporting materials to share? 

Blue Sky Thinking – Have you implemented creative, out-of-the-box practices? Were they successful in improving outcomes for people with ALS/MND?

Caring for Carers – How do you support carers and prevent burnout? What if there are conflicts in the home? What are the ethics involved with decision-making? Have you developed programs for long-term carers? Or for younger carers/teenagers?

Support for Staff – How do you keep your staff and yourself healthy? What are your practices to manage stress, workloads or difficult clients?  How do you address compassion fatigue and burnout or support staff members as they confront death and dying?  Are psychological support and team building part of your work? What challenges prevent you from supporting your team?

Fronto-Temporal Dementia/ Fronto-Temporal Lobar Degeneration (FTD/FTLD) – How do you respond to the challenges created by FTD/FTLD? How can we support families dealing with FTD/FTLD? Do you have a creative and effective program or practice that responds well to the challenges created by FTD/FTLD?

Electronic Solutions and Assistive Technology – What are the practical applications of e-solutions? How do you help people get access to equipment or devices? What new assistive technology is available? How can we improve independence and communication for people living with ALS/MND? What about online resources, e-learning, telehealth, Skype and web conferencing as solutions to issues?

Integration of Palliative Care – How has your team integrated palliative/supportive care into your practice? How are you managing the interface between palliative care provision and the other services people need?

Respiratory Support and Nutrition – How do you support family carers to work with non-invasive and invasive ventilation or PEG/RIG placements? What techniques have you used to improve nutrition before or instead of PEG/RIG? How do you manage the risks and issues when nutrition support is required but PEG/RIG is not possible?

International and National Exchanges – Have you participated in the sharing of resources, information or staff members? What were your objectives and strategies?  What were the outcomes? Have you done outreach work in underserved areas in your or other countries?



Steve Bell (Co-Chair), MND Association of England, Wales and N Ireland (UK)

Rodney Harris (Co-Chair), MND Victoria (Australia)

Carol Birks, MND Australia (Australia)

Sara Feldman, The ALS  Hope Foundation (USA)

Richard Sloan, Palliative Care Physician (UK)

Evy Reviers, The ALS League of Belgium (Belgium)

The Programme Committee urges you to use this first notice to start thinking about your practice and what you might have to share with your fellow practitioners.

Steve Bell and Rod Harris, Co-Chairs