Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (LTHT)

The Children’s Neuromuscular service in Leeds was established in 1992 and provides support to the 1 million or so children in what was the old ‘Yorkshire Health Authority’. Over the years, the service has grown and developed considerably. We offer full diagnostic facilities including multidisciplinary clinical assessment, muscle biopsy and histopathology, neurophysiology (electromyography and nerve conduction), muscle MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), genetic evaluation and testing.

The current NM team comprises 2 consultant paediatric neurologists, 2 specialist care advisors, 2 specialist neuromuscular physiotherapist, a specialist NM occupational therapist and a specialist NM nurse. In-patient care is supported by senior therapists from the Paediatric Neurosciences and Respiratory service. The team have access to support from SALT, dieticians, psychologists and other clinical teams based at the Leeds Children’s Hospital. As the Children’s Hospital is co-located with adult services, the full range of adult services is also readily accessible.

Paediatric Neurology

The service carries a caseload of 400+ children with neuromuscular disorders and undertake 2-3 NM clinics/week.  Our caseload includes a high percentage of families from a South Asian background, with a high prevalence of NM disorders, particularly those inherited in an autosomal recessive manner as a result of consanguineous marriage. These conditions are often more challenging to diagnose and manage and require greater resources from the clinical team. We work closely with the regional neuroscience network and Yorkshire and Humber NM forum to streamline referral pathways and ensure consistent management across our network.

The Leeds NM team has always been actively involved in the UK Neuromuscular Consortium and NorthStar network, contributing to national audits such as NorthStar and Smartnet, developing guidelines and protocols, working to support service developments, and access to novel interventions/treatments in Yorkshire and across the UK

As a consequence of the care provided, we have been recognised by MDUK as a “Centre of Excellence” in the management of Paediatric NM disorders in 2012 and again in the most recent review in 2015.

In the last few years we have significantly expanded our research portfolio and developed our skills in successfully undertaking a wide range of clinical trials in DMD.

Experience of running trials

Prior to 2013, our immediate trial experience was in relation to other neurological studies in particular interventions for the management of epilepsy. However, we have always been highly committed to research in NM disorders and have a successful track record for recruiting children in Yorkshire to research studies in London and Newcastle. 

As a consequence of our developing research portfolio we have secured additional funding for a specialist NM nurse, specialist NM physiotherapist, a NM clinical research fellow and a NM coordinator.

We have developed our skills in research methodology, clinical evaluation and assessment. We have excellent support from our Clinical trials facility and R+D department.

In March 2018, we will be able to use the facilities of our new clinical trials unit with dedicated space to support NM studies.

Other relevant projects

We have strong links with the UK NM consortium, NorthStar and SMA networks.

We also work closely with MDUK who continue to support the Yorkshire and Humber Muscle forum following the ‘Bridging the Gap’ project and the Awaaz forum supporting South Asian families

We have collaborated on a number of publications with our colleagues in the Clinical genetics department, defining the clinical and genetic basis of novel neuromuscular disorders, i.e. MICU1 and EMARD, and with colleagues in other centres to expand the clinical phenotyping of rare NM conditions.

We have always worked closely with our colleagues in Palliative Care, particularly the Research team at Martin House Children’s Hospice, with whom we have undertaken a number of projects looking at the role of palliative care in supporting families living with NM disorders

Contact Information

Department Name
Paediatric Neurology
Visit Us

F Floor
Martin Wing
Leeds General Infirmary

Primary Contact Person
Patients: Naomi Barkby, n.barkby@nhs.net
National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Contact:
Fiona Halstead, fiona.halstead@nihr.ac.uk
View Clinical Trials At This Site  

Current Trials:

Study Name Trial Status at Leeds Overall Trial Status
Antisense - ATL1102 Recruiting Recruiting
Dyne Therapeutics - DYNE-251 Recruiting Recruiting
FibroGen - LELANTOS 2 Trial complete/terminated Trial terminated
Interactive Virtual Reality System on Physiotherapy Recruiting Recruiting
FibroGen - LELANTOS Trial complete/terminated Trial terminated
Sarepta - MIS51ON Fully recruited Fully recruited
Santhera SIDEROS Open Label Extension [TERMINATED] Trial complete/terminated Trial terminated
DYSTANCE 51 [TERMINATED] Trial complete/terminated Trial terminated
Patient Registry Translarna (Ataluren) Fully recruited Fully recruited
Vamorolone Phase 2b (VISION-DMD) Trial complete/terminated Trial complete
Santhera (SIDEROS) [TERMINATED] Trial complete/terminated Trial terminated
Tamoxifen (TAMDMD) Trial complete/terminated Trial complete
Disease translation in DMD: Neuromuscular rare disease translational research in patients with DMD. Fully recruited Recruiting
Sarepta- ESSENCE Fully recruited Fully recruited
FOR-DMD Trial complete/terminated Trial complete

Contact Listing:

I have been working as a consultant paediatric neurologist in Leeds since 2001 when I became the Lead for Children’s Neuromuscular Services. It has been a pleasure working with the families and young people under our care and being part of the NM multidisciplinary team.

I am committed to delivering high-quality care to all CYP with NM disorders in Yorkshire and thus work closely with colleagues in other disciplines, with charities and the UK NM consortium. I am a member of the SMA working group and ethical committee.

My clinical research interests include MR imaging and rare disease phenotyping, although my predominant research involvement is now in relation to DMD and SMA. I am PI for 6 trials in DMD and 4 upcoming studies. I am a member of the BPNA research committee and the Martin House Research Committee.

0113 3923113

Dr Karen Pysden has worked as a Consultant in Paediatric Neurology and within the Paediatric neuromuscular service in Leeds since 2009.

0113 3922105

Lindsey has over 15 years experience as a member of the Leeds Neuromuscular team. She works as part of the MDT but also runs Physio led clinics seeing patients for follow-up. For the last 5 years, she has also been working as the clinical evaluator in an increasing number of research studies that have opened at our centre completing motor and respiratory assessments on young people.

Lindsey is an active member of the Association of Paediatric Chartered Physiotherapists and chairs the Neuromuscular Specialist Group.

0113 3926361

After completing a degree in Children’s nursing in 2001, Donna started her career with the Leeds Teaching Hospital in children’s medicine. In 2007 she achieved a Community Specialist Practitioner First class Degree with Honours, but instead of moving fully into a community role, she chose to become a Children’s Nutrition Nurse Specialist. This enabled her to combine her experience, skills and passion for working in an acute setting with the autonomy and the community aspects of supporting children and families to manage complex nutritional health needs at home. 

Donna has been a Children’s research nurse at Leeds Children’s Hospital since May 2017 and has worked across many areas of paediatric research, utilising her background in general medicine. She has also co-ordinated two large international Neuromuscular clinical trials to date, and enjoys working alongside Dr Childs and the Neuromuscular team at Leeds to deliver high quality research and patient care. 


Christina trained in Spain and has been working as a Paediatrician in primary care there for several years. She has now moved to the team in Leeds in a Clinical Fellow Role, funded by the DMD Hub. 

Carla has worked as an Occupational Therapist for 4 and a half years and joined the Leeds neuromuscular team in April 2014. Carla works as a Children’s Occupational Therapist, covering the neuromuscular team for 1.5 days per week, whilst spending the rest of her time covering the neurology/oncology in-patient caseloads at Leeds Children’s Hospital. Carla attends the Leeds Neuromuscular clinics on a Tuesday and also carries a caseload of Leeds children with neuromuscular conditions, supporting them with their occupational performance at home and school.

0113 3923612

I became the neuromuscular care advisor in Hull and East Yorkshire in March  2014. I have a nursing background and am dual trained, allowing me to care for adults and children.  Previously, I worked as Macmillan Palliative Care Nurse for children and young adults in the community. I worked closely with the MDT and liaised with the regional neuromuscular team from Leeds where my passion for neuromuscular patients began.

At present, I am proud to work closely with the regional teams and value the plethora of information and advice that is imparted. Although I am now a Neuromuscular Care Advisor, I have kept my nursing registration updated.

01482 675721

Sue has 23 years’ experience working as a member of the Leeds Neuromuscular team. Her role is to offer advice and support to children, adults and families affected by a neuromuscular condition particularly around the time of diagnosis and the transition to adult services. Another key role is to liaise with other professionals in Health, Education and Social Care to deliver condition-specific training.

She is a member of MDUK  Services Development Committee.

0113 3923113

Daniel is a Paediatric Registrar who is currently taking time out of training to develop his research interests in Paediatric Neurology and Neuromuscular Disorders. A Clinical Research Fellow since September 2022 with funding from the DMD Hub, he supports clinical trials for children and young people with Duchenne muscular dystrophy and is developing a new study to consider the impact of ethnicity and socioeconomic status on clinical outcomes in DMD


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