People with MS (multiple sclerosis) are more likely to be supported by specialist nurses than other healthcare professionals, including GPs and neurologists, according to a report by the MS Trust.
Evidence for MS specialist services, based on findings from the organisation’s three-year evaluation project into MS services, collected data from 15 teams who provide services for over 15,000 people living with MS.
‘We know from the feedback we receive every day that MS specialist nurses provide an incredible service to over 100,000 people living with MS in the UK,’ said Amy Bowen, director of service development at the MS Trust. ‘This report gives us the strongest evidence yet into the exact value of the care they provide’
The report found that more and more of MS specialist nurses time is used to support people taking disease-modifying drugs. Half of the people living with MS in the UK have progressive forms of the disease and are not eligible for these treatments. The MS trusts says that while patients with progressive MS have complex care needs, the greater focus is on drug management, leading to concerns that it will be increasingly difficult to deliver an equitable service for everyone with MS.
The report also found that that people with MS find it difficult to access MS education and symptom management courses due to pressures on specialist nurses’ time and resources.
‘With new approaches to MS being developed and new treatments becoming available, we believe MS specialists nurses are going to become even more important in ensuring coordinated care for everyone living with MS.’ Ms Bowen added.’ Following the success of this project, the MS Trust will continue to work closely with MS services to help them meet the needs of everyone living with MS.’