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Way Ahead Volume 13 Part 2 (March 2009)

Government policy 2009 - why clinicians need to take the lead

Nicola Russell, Director of Services, MS Trust

This article describes the NHS constitution which has now been formally launched. The constitution makes pledges to patients and to staff and is a first in the 60 year history of the NHS. Its aim is to set out in one place what everyone, staff and patients, can expect from the NHS.

Competencies for MS specialist services

Victoria Matthews, MS Specialist Nurse Advisor, MS Trust

This article describes the development of a competency framework for MS specialist services by the MS Trust in collaboration with the UK MS Specialist Nursing Association (UKMSSNA) and the Royal College of Nursing (RCN).

The Recognition Model: a new sexual health model of practice for use by disability teams

Lorna Couldrick, Senior Lecturer, School of Health Professions, University of Brighton, Brighton

The National Institute for Clincal Excellence (NICE) has issued clinical guidelines recommending that health professionals in regular contact with people with MS should consider, in a systematic way, whether disability has impacted on their sexual function. This article proposes a new model of sexual health practice based on five key components.

Lost to follow up: what are the implications?

Yogendrainh Jagatsinh, Specialist Registrar Rehabilitation Medicine, Walkergate Park Centre for Neurorehabilitation, Newcastle-upon-Tyne

The NICE MS guideline states that specialist neurological rehabilitation services should be available to every person with MS, when they need them. Yet for a significant proportion of the MS population, such services are geographically inaccessible. This article discusses the problems posed by geographically isolated areas across the UK, and how the problem can be overcome by the development of local outreach services such as the one that was established in North Northumberland in 2007.

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