Failing NHS Services

Austerity Britain and access to services in the NHS. #MSBlog #MSResearch

Epub: Markwick et al.The perceptions of people with multiple sclerosis about the NHS provision of physiotherapy services Disabil Rehabil. 2013 May.

Purpose: In 2008, the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) and MS Trust conducted a second audit of NHS services for people with MS (PwMS). Using the free text comments obtained from the RCP and MS Trust audit, this study aimed to perform content analysis on the views of PwMS about MS services, focussing on physiotherapy provision.

Method: A total of 757 PwMS included a free text comment on MS services and an additional 41 commented separately about physiotherapy services. The data were analysed using content analysis, which identified three main themes, positive, negative and neutral and subsequent categories and sub-categories. Intra- and inter-rater reliability were assessed and the data were manipulated to address the research aim.

Results: This study found that the majority of the free text comments on MS services were negative (55%). Physiotherapy provision was rated the most negative of NHS services (38%), with the primary complaints being lack of information about services and excessive waiting times for appointments.

Conclusion: This study has revealed that NHS physiotherapy provision is not meeting the needs of PwMS. Implications for Rehabilitation The findings of the present study suggest that the perceived needs of patients with MS in England and Wales, including information about physiotherapy services and shorter waiting times for appointments for treatment are not met. Rehabilitation professionals and service providers need to review their services in light of the current evidence related to the needs of patients with MS.

“I wonder if things have improved since 2008? Being a neurologist in the NHS trenches, every day is a battle. Austerity is definitely beginning to impact on MS services. Our resources are constantly been threatened. We need to do things more smartly and more efficiently. Our current way of doing things is Victorian we need to adapt to a changing world and provide services in a different way.”
“Despite this survey I still think MSers in the UK have it better than most.”

“I wonder what MSers had to say about their neurologists and access to DMTs in this survey?”

About the author

Prof G

Professor of Neurology, Barts & The London. MS & Preventive Neurology thinker, blogger, runner, vegetable gardener, husband, father, cook and wine & food lover.

1 comment

  • Physio has been a life-saver for me. I mostly go privately but two years ago managed to get on the'continuing care' list, with a funded monthly session through my GP. Then the PCT cut all neurophysiotherapy (via GP), as well as paediatric and respiratory physio. The only way for any of these groups to access physio is through the hospital. And you won't be surprised to hear that the hospital is expected to cope with all this without any extra funding or staffing.

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