Reset and Reform MS services: through pathway mapping and innovation


A further core theme from 'NHS Reset and Reform' is around pathway mapping and innovation. There is currently variation in the MS pathway across the UK, leading to inequality of care provision.

'Digital technology can be expanded to whatever the patient need is, and I think that understanding the levels of experience and knowledge that people have and using those tools that we have available will make sure that we have a service that's fit for the future.'

Helen Crowther, Clinical Nurse Advisor for NHS England and NHSX

The National Neurology Advisory Group has developed an Optimum MS pathway which outlines a standardised approach for MS management, an incredibly useful step towards equity of access and provision nationally.

However, if we are to provide holistic care for people with MS, we also need to ensure a pathway approach is in place to help manage or treat the symptoms and other challenges that people with MS are likely to encounter. This includes things like bladder and bowel problems, sexual dysfunction, cognitive impairment and pain management.

Bladder and bowel difficulties are commonly experienced by people with MS, and have a huge impact on both the individual's quality of life issue and the NHS's budget. A national bladder management pathway is in the process of being developed as a resource for services across the UK, although all pathways must be tailored to local service provision - an opportunity to provide the best possible care in any individual place.

Figure 1: Part of infographic: 'Multiple sclerosis: Raising the bar. Emergency admissions 2018/19', published Jan 2020. Full infographic available here.

'NHS Reset and Reform' suggests a number of ways that pathway use can impact MS care for the better, as well as highlighting innovations that can help improve care, maximise resources, and adapt to the changes in provision style demanded by the coronavirus pandemic.

'I felt that the high cost of admissions for patients with urine tract infections was something I wanted to work on locally... This is incredibly important because we're looking at reducing the cost, increasing services to better manage patients and give them better care, and patients are much more involved in it.

Out of small beginnings with local pathway mapping can come a national project like this, which is really important.'

Ruth Stross, MS Specialist Nurse, Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust

In these videos, MS specialist nurse Ruth Stross, and Helen Crowther at NHSX share their experiences and innovative ideas for optimising MS care and support to enable people with MS to live their best lives.

Ruth shares details of the home UTI testing kit for MS that she has developed to enable rapid diagnosis and early intervention.

Helen Crowther, Clinical Nurse Advisor for NHS England and NHSX, discusses how digital technology may be a further way in which we can better support patients. Her key message: MS services need to embrace technology to support earlier interventions.

To learn more about 'NHS Reset and Reform', read the written report here.

Thanks to our sponsor, Roche

The 'Reset and Reform' report has been sponsored by Roche Products Limited. Roche Products Limited has had no control over the educational content of this publication

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