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MS Trust thanks The October Club at Advanced MS Champions launch

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Lyn and Jody Barber

Up to 5,000 people with advanced MS will benefit from a new project launched at the House of Lords.

The Advanced MS Champions Programme is our project to transform care so that people facing multiple, complex MS symptoms get the support they need. Over the next three years we will be working with six sites across the UK to pioneer a new health professional role to:

  • co-ordinate care for people with advanced MS 
  • work across boundaries within the NHS and social care 
  • provide specialist, proactive and individualised care to people with advanced MS and their families

The MS Trust celebrated the launch of our Advanced MS Champions programme on February 20 with supporters and stakeholders, including members of The October Club Committee, at an event at the House of Lords.

“We knew from our research that people with advanced MS, their families and carers face huge challenges,” said MS Trust Chief Executive David Martin. “We knew what we needed to do. But we couldn’t make things better on our own. It is thanks to the hard work and generosity of the October Club that we can run this pilot, and then roll it out across the UK, and transform the lives of thousands of people living with advanced MS.”

The October Club is a group of philanthropists based in the City of London which chooses to raise funds for a different charity each year in order to support a transformative project. In 2017 their events, including a gala dinner at the Savoy in October, raised over £500,000, making the MS Trust Advanced MS Champions programme possible.

“The MS Trust has done so much valuable research into the challenges MS services face in delivering the care that people need,” said Karen Vernon, MS nurse consultant at Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust. “With their history of supporting and championing MS specialist health professionals, they are the perfect organisation to make a difference by helping us address them.”

The MS Trust will announce the first site to take part in the Advanced Champions programme in the next month, and hope to have the first Advanced MS Champion in post in the summer. Over the next three years we will announce a further five posts across the UK. We hope to demonstrate how they can make a real difference in delivering efficient, equitable and joined-up MS services that work for people with MS, and believe this will make the case for these roles to be rolled out across the NHS so that no one has to take on MS alone.

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