MS Trust report specialist nurse posts must double to be sustainable

25 Feb 2022

Image taken from the MS Trust report

A new report from the MS Trust has found that there are more people living with MS in the UK than previously thought, and that, to support them effectively, we need twice as many specialist nurses.

'Multiple sclerosis specialist nursing in the UK 2021: results from the MS Trust nurse mapping survey' reports on findings from surveying 133 services and 176 MS health professionals in order to find out more about MS services across the UK. The survey, usually conducted every two years, was delayed by two years due to COVID, and has found a great deal of change since the last one conducted.

MS Trust has previously calculated that a sustainable caseload for a specialist nurse is 315 people with MS - this ensures that professionals can offer quality care and people with MS experience good services.

Now, they note in this report that an extra 149 WTE specialist nurse posts are needed - a doubling of the workforce - to ensure every person with MS is supported by a nurse with a sustainable caseload.

Other key findings from this latest survey include an increase in numbers of people living with MS, based on caseload numbers rather than incidence and prevalence estimates, and significantly increased caseloads for MS specialist nurses despite an increase in these posts. The average caseload for an MS nurse is now 472, and 79% of people with MS live in areas where their nurse has an unsustainable caseload.

Find out more via MS Trust's website, or read the full report online.

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