Time is brain: Analysis of patient seen in Multiple Sclerosis clinic in Hull

By Dr Mariam Hussain, Speciality Doctor, Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

All of our attendees carry out a piece of research in an area of MS clinical practice or treatment that interests them.

This snapshot gives you a quick idea of what they found and why. If you want to learn more, just click through to the full poster, or follow the links within the snapshot.

If you would like to contact the alumni who did the research, drop us a line and we’ll put you in touch where possible.

Poster: Time is brain: Analysis of patient seen in Multiple Sclerosis clinic in Hull


To assess the length of time from diagnosis to treatment and identify delays along the pathway.


The latest evidence shows that MS should be treated as quickly and as aggressively as possible to reduce the disease’s impact on brain health and disability.

This study found delays at the following steps of the patient pathway:

  • Between referral and first visit to the MS clinic
  • Between first visit to the MS clinic and receiving a definitive diagnosis
  • Between receiving a definitive diagnosis and choosing a DMT
  • Between choosing a DMT and starting treatment

Key findings

The electronic case notes of 18 people diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) between January and July 2019 were chosen at random. All had been referred to the MS clinic by neurology departments or GPs.

Analysis of the notes found:

  • Wait from referral to diagnosis ranged from a few days to 2.5 years
  • 38% were given a diagnosis on the first visit to the MS specialist clinic
  • All patients discussed disease modifying therapies (DMTs) on the same day as they received their diagnosis
  • 66% of patients selected a DMT on the same day as they received their diagnosis
  • 83% were given a written prescription for DMTs on the same day as they received their diagnosis
  • 77% started DMTS within six weeks of selecting their treatment


The author said there was a need to:

  • standardise timelines within the pathway from referral to treatment initiation
  • increase patient support to enable early DMT decision making
  • improve DMT delivery systems

More MS Academy Diagnosis & assessment Projects

Evaluation of a New Clinical Management Pathway for Patients Referred to the Plymouth Multiple Sclerosis Service
By Dr Tanya King, Post Doctoral Research Assistant, University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust
An audit of referrals with suspected MS to a district general hospital
By Dr Tracey Graves, Consultant Neurologist, Hinchingbrooke Hospital
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.