Guest blog post by the MS Trust. This week, 29th-6th May, is MS Awareness week. For more information about fundraising or to nominate an MS nurse visit the MS Trust’s MS Awareness Week website: www.msawareness.org.uk For more information about the work of the MS Trust visit www.mstrust.org.uk
Some health professionals only see me as a person with multiple sclerosis. My MS nurse sees me as me. She sees through the symptoms and puts things into perspective. I don’t know how I would feel if she wasn’t there as my lifeline. She has gone out of her way, quite often on her off-duty days, to arrange appointments and treatments for me. She truly is a godsend. I am blessed and thankful she is my MS nurse.
– one of the many testimonies from this year’s MS Trust’s My Super Nurse campaign
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is the most common disease of the central nervous system affecting young adults. More than 100,000 people in the UK have been diagnosed. It’s a complex and unpredictable condition and no two people have precisely the same symptoms.
At the MS Trust we believe that one of the best ways to help people with MS is to support their specialist nurses. Since 1996 we’ve been leading the way in campaigning for and supporting their work. We funded the only research project which shows that, as well as being vital to people with MS, MS specialist nurses also save money for the NHS by keeping people out of hospital. We estimate that a single MS specialist nurse, with an average caseload of around 250 patients, can save the NHS around £65,000 a year.
However, in recent years we’ve had to step up our work. As health budgets grow tighter, specialist MS nurses are under increasing pressure to demonstrate the impact of their work or risk having their funding removed.
That’s why, for this year’s MS Awareness Week, which runs from 29 April–5 May we’re focusing on the work of MS nurses. For the MS Trust’s ‘My Super Nurse’ campaign we’ve asked people affected by MS to tell us how their nurse has gone the extra mile for them. We’ve been overwhelmed by the hundreds of responses we’ve received, each providing a small glimpse of the profound effect these nurses can have. The winners will be announced in MS Awareness Week and will receive a special prize.
We’re also asking people to support our work to help safeguard the future of MS nurses. Last year we piloted an innovative project to help nurses record, analyse and present the impact of their work. The pilot was a huge success, and has already been instrumental in keeping at least one nurse in post. We’d like to roll out this project so that all MS nurses have access to the we’ve helped to develop.
But we need help. So we’re asking everyone to help us raise funds by organising or taking part in a Be Bold in Blue event. You could hold a dress blue day at work or school, arrange a blue party night or even bake and sell blueberry muffins. We can provide lots of support and fundraising materials to help your event go smoothly.