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GEMSS Generating Evidence in Multiple Sclerosis Services

GEMSS - Generating evidence in multiple sclerosis services The GEMSS team


(Generating Evidence in Multiple Sclerosis Services)

In April 2012, the MS Trust launched GEMSS, a project to help MS Specialist Nurses to evaluate their services and demonstrate what works best to meet the needs of people with MS and their families.

The Aims of GEMSS Project

The project has a professional development component, building the skills and capabilities of the nurses involved; and a service development component, developing an improvement culture in the services evaluated. In addition, the project aims to leave a lasting legacy for MS services more generally by developing a set of common quality standards and tools by which they can be measured.

In the first phase, the MS Trust supported four teams of MS nurses from around the UK to evaluate their services over the course of a year. Geraldine Mynors and Jane Suppiah were commissioned by the MS Trust to deliver the project and support the nurse teams involved in it. Each team has produced a report on their service for 2012-13 for key local management and commissioning audiences. The reports:

  • Describe their team and service qualitatively and quantitatively
  • Explain how the service contributes to NHS outcomes and reduces other health system costs
  • Assess service performance against key performance indicators (KPIs) and patient experience measures
  • Make recommendations for maintaining and developing the service

Following the positive feedback from the first project, GEMSS is now expanding to include:

  1. Phase 2 of the MS Nurse project - Using the learning from the first phase, a further ten teams of MS nurses are being recruited for a second project launching in 2014. Applications have now closed.
  2. Specialist Allied Health Professionals (AHP) in MS Project - This has two components: the inclusion of multidisciplinary teams in Phase 2 of the nurses' project and the production of a report that was published in November 2013, Defining the Value of AHPs with Expertise in MS, Supporting Evidence and Recommendations for Commissioners and Practitioners (PDF, 307 KB).
  3. A Patient Survey service - Any UK MS nurse team can receive input from the MS Trust for free to help them administer the GEMSS user experience survey and collate the results. Find out more about our Patient Survey service.

I am delighted to be a member of the Advisory Group for GEMSS representing public health nursing at the Department of Health. Nurses need to have the confidence to lead discussions about the effectiveness and value of their services and how services should develop to exemplify the best care in the future. GEMSS aims to address this by equipping MS Nurses with the skills to not only collect data but to communicate the difference they make and to demonstrate the outcomes they deliver. GEMSS is an inspiring model for how nurses can develop their ability to influence managers and commissioners and be leaders in service development.

David Foster, Deputy Director of Nursing, Department of Health

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has been proud to be part of the GEMMS project and welcomes the initial findings of the pilot sites. The RCN is a passionate advocate of the vital role of specialist nurses , including those working in MS. The GEMMS project provides MS Specialist Nurses with the skills to evaluate and articulate the benefits they bring and to demonstrate how they deliver improved outcomes for people with MS. We welcome the expansion of the project and wish every success to the phase 2 sites and the wider programme.

Amanda Cheesley, Royal College of Nursing Long Term Conditions Advisor