People with multiple sclerosis (MS) are living with a complex and variable lifelong condition, that can impact on many different aspects of their life and health. MS specialist nurses are a vital resource to help people come to terms with living with MS and to ensure they get access to the right treatments and support. The MS Trust provides education opportunities, practical resources, support networks and one-to-one mentoring for MS nurses, so they can offer the best care to their patients.
Changes happening now within the NHS mean that quality healthcare for the 100,000 people with MS in the UK could be seriously compromised. Specialist MS services are already stretched in many areas, but with funding being lost or reassigned, some vacant MS specialist nurse posts are not being replaced and other posts are under review. MS nurses are turning to the MS Trust to help them fight to keep their essential services safe for their local MS community.
The MS Trust is working closely with MS nurses whose jobs are under threat or whose time is being diverted from helping people with MS. We are helping them gather evidence to support their case and we are lobbying in their local communities to demonstrate what an essential and cost-effective service they provide. As well as this, we work with all MS nurses to ensure they have the training and resources they need to offer the best possible service to their patients.
The long term aim of our MS Nurse Support Programme is to secure access for everyone with MS to an MS specialist nurse who is well informed and supported, and who has a manageable caseload. As well as supporting individual nurses, we are campaigning to promote the importance of the MS specialist nurse at national and international level. Just 15 years ago there were only a handful of MS specialist nurses and we now have 240. We need at least 350 nurses to support everyone with MS.
Supporting MS specialist nurses and therapists
MS Trust supporting MS nurses - a timeline