Raising the bar for MS services: Why we need to work differently and how we’re going to do it

This July, the second in a series of national events to discuss, inspire and instigate action to ‘raise the bar for MS services’ opened with a poll.

Setting the tone for the two-day intensive event, 85% of the 120 healthcare practitioners either agreed or strongly agreed that ‘Those of us in the room have the power we need to fundamentally improve the quality of MS care in the UK, reduce variation and offer consistent care at the level we want everywhere, in the next 3 years’.

The event, opened by Professor Gavin Giovannoni who outlined the ‘perfect storm’ we find ourselves in, and established why it is essential that we act now to change MS services, provided inspiration, debate and active planning for change amongst its delegates. Everyone present had the opportunity to view best practice posters from around the county, attend two of five practical workstream groups, and left the two-day conference with actionable ‘to-do’ lists (fig 1) which fitted into an overarching three-year plan (table 1).

Figure 1: Workstream actions for year 1 of ‘raising the bar for MS’

The take home message last year was ‘we need to do things differently.’ This year, that message was deepened into ‘we need to think differently, work differently, and deliver services differently.’

The encouragement to find our ‘why’ as a community of people committed to improving the lives of those with MS was throughout the event. That community must feature those living with MS as equal partners in this journey to raise the bar across MS services – in review, design and delivery. CEO of Altogether Better Alyson McGregor summed up well, saying

‘we need to agree a new purpose – for clinicians only to decide won’t cut it, we need to work together, in real collaboration.’

Table 1: A summary of the 3 year plan. Full details online.

More information:

→ Posters: Sharing best practice

→ Get involved in the workstreams – what to do and how to do it

→ Tackling MS variance and raising the bar – our 3-year vision

→ Participate in our audit of MS services

→ Leading for change – equipping you to raise the bar for MS services

Read more about the idea behind this meeting:
→ Let's raise the bar for MS Services

→ Programme and further information

Encouraging excellence, developing leaders, inspiring change

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.