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Way Ahead Volume 20 Part 2 (April 2016)

MS Forward View – the next phase of the MS Trust GEMSS programme

Daisy Doncaster, MS Forward View Project Coordinator, MS Trust

MS Forward View was launched in Autumn 2015 to build on the work of GEMSS (Generating Evidence in MS Services), a service evaluation and improvement programme run by the MS Trust. GEMSS highlighted the growing pressures on MS services in the UK, and the widely-held concern that this could impact negatively on high quality, holistic care, particularly for those people with progressive forms of MS. MS Forward View seeks to investigate and address this concern by identifying the actions needed to enable services to deliver good quality, equitable care for everyone with MS.

Eight steps to improving your relapse service: a guide to best practice for MS nurses

Megan Roberts, MS Specialist Nurse and Advanced Practice Advisor, MS Trust

Relapses are a very common feature of MS, most people have at least one relapse and many have several. Relapses can vary hugely in their impact on the individual’s life, some may be considered little more than a nuisance, whilst others can be devastating, take months to recover from and may leave the person with some degree of permanent disability. The MS Trust is publishing a new guide to managing relapse for MS nurses. This article explains why it is needed, and what it contains.

Working together to understand the challenges of growing older with multiple sclerosis: a pilot study

Gail Clayton, Lead Clinical Nurse Specialist, Helen Durham Centre, Cardiff

Although MS is widely recognised as the most common cause of disability in young adults, it is becoming increasingly evident that people are growing older with the condition and MS nurses and therapists are becoming involved in addressing the more complex issues that come with the ageing process, on top of the usual MS care. This article looks at the potential complications and challenges faced by this group of patients from the perspective of a patient and their MS nurse.

Brain health: time matters in multiple sclerosis

Gavin Giovannoni, Professor of Neurology, Queen Mary University London, Blizard Institute, Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, London

This article discusses the ‘Brain health’ policy document which highlights the importance of treating MS early and effectively with the aim of preventing, or at least delaying, the onset of the progressive phase of MS. As well as looking at the early use of DMDs, the report also looks at positive lifestyle choices including diet, exercise, smoking and the optimum management of comorbidities.

Supporting patients and family members through health education comics

Sarah McNicol, Research Associate, Education and Social Research Institute, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester

This article describes a small-scale research project which investigated how health educational comics might provide support to patients and family members in dealing with feelings and attitudes associated with various health conditions, including MS.

Innovation in practice: redesigning a rehabilitation pathway to promote a seamless service between hospital and the community

Derek Laidler, Team Leader Physiotherapist, NHS Highland

A collaboration between teams at NHS Highland and Lorn and Oban Healthy Options (LOHO), a community enterprise initiative set up to support people living with long term conditions, was awarded the inaugural Quality in the Delivery of Services (QuDoS) in MS award for innovation in practice. This article describes the involvement of both teams to develop a rehabilitation pathway for people with MS to enable continued access to rehabilitation in a community setting. Includes case study of a service user.

The Write Idea

Gilly Burdon, MS Occupational Therapist, Wye Valley NHS Trust, Hereford

This article describes a piece of work designed to highlight the importance of maintaining an individual’s independence in the everyday task of writing. It looks at the impact MS can have on handwriting and describes the development of a comprehensive, client centred assessment, which not only identifies issues with writing, but can also advise on appropriate interventions including access to a range of adaptive equipment to trial.

Paediatric MS: where do we go from here?

Suzanne Wyton, Neurology Nurse Specialist, Birmingham Children’s Hospital, Birmingham

Although MS is typically diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 40, it can be diagnosed in children and their needs can be very different to those of adults with the condition. This article discusses the emerging speciality of paediatric onset MS (POMS) and why services need to develop in the future to better serve this patient group.

Understanding medical statistics: a (not so) tough nut to crack

Arie Gafson, Clinical Research Fellow, Division of Brain Sciences, Department of Medicine, Imperial College, London

With the advent of so many new DMDs for MS, for a truly shared decision making process to occur, both patients and health professionals need to have a basic understanding of medical statistics to help interpret the results of clinical trials. This article looks at some of the common terms used in medical statistics and what they mean in lay terms.

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