Many people assume that MS specialist nurses are trained by the NHS. That is not the case. In fact, the majority of specialist MS training and development in the UK is provided by us – the MS Trust. The MS Trust’s education programme costs over £300,000 to run each year.
Karen, Consultant MS Nurse “Since my specialist career began, the MS Trust has been a constant. From their outset they identified education of professionals as being key to improving patient care. The specialist education they continue to provide for nurses and therapists is unique. They engage with you, they listen to you, they know you. You’re not just another nurse; you are a person who matters, with views.”
Nikki, Clinical Nurse Specialist in MS “17 years ago there were less than 30 MS nurses, but even then I was able to attend MS Trust education events to support my clinical practice. This has been vital in enabling me to become a competent specialist practitioner. The MS Trust has developed, with input from nurses and other professionals, the national MS care pathway and the MS nurse competency framework, which we use every day to guide our practice.”
We believe MS specialist nurses and therapists offer the best care and support to people affected by MS, and that to do their job, they need regular opportunities to update their knowledge and expertise. The MS Trust runs a week-long residential course for all new in post MS specialists, which provides an essential foundation of MS knowledge in the early stages of their role. The knowledge gained from this course is then built on through our annual MS nurse meeting and multidisciplinary conference, bringing together the top opinion leaders in MS and the specialists who see people dealing with the realities of MS every day.
Pamela, Consultant Occupational Therapist “To everyone who supports the MS Trust financially, I’d like to say a huge ‘thank you’. The knowledge and support gained from them has helped me in all aspects of my work, which has had, either directly or indirectly, an impact on people with MS and their carers.”
We know not everyone has access to the MS specialist nurses and therapists they need, and we will keep fighting to get more. Through our GEMSS programme we continue to build the evidence for the value of MS specialists, identifying the areas needing additional support and working with commissioners. Whilst this work is going on, we must make sure we don’t lose the specialists we have and ensure that those currently in post have ongoing support and education which enables them to offer the best possible care.
Thank you for helping the MS Trust continue to develop and support MS specialist nurses in the UK.