Third national survey of MS services (2011) Completed project summary
Commissioned by the MS Trust and the Royal College of Physicians
The survey asked six sources to provide their perspective on the organisation, resourcing and performance of NHS services for people with MS. Those sources were:
- people with MS
- acute NHS hospital trusts
- community-based services
- general practice
- Primary Care Trusts and local health boards
- Strategic Health Authorities
The audit measured their responses against the standards given in the NICE clinical guideline Management of multiple sclerosis in primary and secondary care (NICE CG8) and the National Service Framework for Long-term Conditions (NSF-LTC). The results were compared with a similar national survey conducted in 2006.
The overarching findings were:
- There has been no major improvement in many aspects of service provision for people with MS since 2006.
- None of the six key recommendations made by NICE in 2003 had been implemented widely or fully.
- The sentinel marker proposed by NICE, the prevalence of skin pressure ulcers, has dropped from 9% to 4% over five years, as reported by people with MS.
- Seven of the eleven quality requirements of the NSF-LTC, those which are particularly relevant to people with MS, all showed a low level of attainment and would not be achieved by the target date of 2015.
- One third of trusts had no plans to improve neurological services in the next year.
It was concluded that:
- All clinical staff need to pay more attention to the many and varied problems faced by people with MS.
- All NHS organisations need to give more attention to rehabilitation services for people with long-term neurological conditions such as MS.
- The Department of Health needs to develop and implement a system of commissioning and payment that facilitates integration between all healthcare providers and also between healthcare and Social Services.