Latest data shows upward trajectory for avoidable MS emergency admissions continues

03 Feb 2020

The latest Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) data shows that emergency hospital admissions for people with multiple sclerosis (MS) continue to rise despite many of them being avoidable through preventative care.

MS Academy have partnered with healthcare intelligence provider Wilmington Healthcare to analyse the latest HES data and compare it to the previous two years, and have found an upward trend in emergency admissions.

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There were over 4,000 more emergency admissions for people with MS in 2018/19 compared to 2016/17. Those 30,310 admissions consisted of 18,305 people with MS, at a cost of £86 million to the NHS. That’s £7 million more than the previous year.

Many of the admissions could have been avoided through proactive, preventative care, earlier diagnosis and intervention in the community. Sue Thomas, CEO of Wilmington Healthcare, said:

“This is one reason why additional MS nurses, allied health professionals and neuro pharmacists are needed in the UK to provide regular assessment and preventative management strategies.”

Emergency admissions for respiratory issues such as infections were common and cost the NHS £15 million, whilst bladder and bowel problems cost £9.1 million.

MS Academy Academic Director Professor Gavin Giovannoni said:

“We thought we were making progress, or at least treading water when it came to managing the complications of MS. However, the latest NHS England data suggests we are going backwards.”

Highlighting our ‘Raising the bar for MS’ programme, Gavin said that we ‘can do more with less’ but that, “Without working differently and ensuring that no patient with MS is left behind we are not going to reverse these trends.”

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MS Academy was established five years ago and in that time has accomplished a huge amount. The six different levels of specialist MS training are dedicated to case-based learning and practical application of cutting edge research. Home to national programme Raising the Bar and the fantastic workstream content it is producing, this is an exciting Academy to belong to.