A HAMPSHIRE council has pledged its support to residents with an incurable disease this week.

Test Valley Borough Council announced they unanimously signed up to the Motor Neurone Disease (MND) charter on Wednesday, January 29.

There are 28 people with MND in Test Valley and the condition is a rapidly progressing disease that affects the brain and spinal cord; it can leave people unable to move, talk and eventually breathe.

Cllr Celia Dowden, who represents North Baddesley and put forward the motion, said: "The MND Association are really keen to create a better awareness of the condition because it has a devastating impact on people.

"Staff at the council will be made aware we have signed the charter because when you are dealing with someone who has the condition you need to know they cannot wait for a wheelchair for six months.

"Thirty percent of people die from the disease within the first year after being diagnosed and 50 percent of people die within the second, so the more awareness there is around the disease the more likely the patients will get what they need before it is too late."

She added: "There are five points in the charter which are the right to an early diagnosis and information, the right to access quality care and treatment and the right to be treated as individuals with dignity and respect."

Cllr Dowden highlighted the other points in the charter, which were "the right to maximise their quality of life and carers of people with MND should have the right to be valued, listen to and well-respected".

Cllr Alan Warnes, who represents North Baddesley on the borough council, said: “The charter has helped raise awareness of MND and 33,630 individuals and organisations have already signed up to the charter.”

Director of External Affairs for the MND Association, Chris James, said: “The importance of the MND Charter is undeniable.

"We want everyone to be clear that access to the right care, in the right place, at the right time, as set out in our charter, can transform lives.”

For more information visit www.mndassociation.org/mndcharter.