All Hail The MS Specialist Nurse

This letter
in Multiple Sclerosis Journal highlights the importance of the MS Nurse
Specialist in caring for MSers and more specifically in avoiding emergency
The authors
looked at hospital emergency admissions in MSers before and after a cash
injection which boosted Nurse Specialists hours. The authors claim that there
was a reduction in hospital bed usage from 2700 bed days per year (2002-2006)
to 33 bed days per year (2007-2012). This is a decrease of 99%!!

This finding
demonstrates the importance of the MS Nurse Specialist in providing a holistic
service for MSers and caring for everyday problems that may arise. In this
case, it meant avoiding hospital admissions which can be stressful, risky and
often avoidable.

In our
recent away day, it was interesting to hear our own MS Nurse Specialists
discussing the challenges they face with increasing workloads and funding
instability. The job they do is clearly essential and valuable and they often
know the answers to questions which doctors cannot answer.

Do you have easy access to a MS Nurse

Have you avoided unnecessary
admissions to hospital by contacting a Nurse Specialist as the first point of

How could access to MS Nurse
Specialists be improved, if at all?
Mult Scler. 2014 Mar 19. [Epub ahead of
The value of the multiple sclerosis specialist nurse with respect to
prevention of unnecessary emergency admission.

About the author

Arie Gafson


  • Interesting. I don't have access to a nurse specialist, so I generally call my neurologist to get answers to questions. I have found the response time and answers to be… less than stellar, so I honestly mostly just search the internet and hope I don't lead myself astray.

  • I have an MS nurse. She is wonderful. I can contact with questions about anything. She has recommended pain relief which my GP was not sure on. She has helped with my fatigue and exercise just to name a few things. She told me about a telephone counselling system we have in our area when I was suffering from anxiety and depression. I can not imagine what the last 2 1/2 yrs would have been like without her. She has saved me loads of trips to the GP and many phone calls to my neurologist (who I have to travel 65 miles to see).

  • I am mid relapse and have emailed my MS nurse twice (over a week ago) and also phoned her landline. No reply/ respone. She is very busy all the time. I need a virtual MS specialist nurse.

  • I must admit I was amazed to read MS nurses can have 100's on their caseloads. How they can be expected to perform their role is beyond me.

    I tend to skip mine as I'm yet to discover what tangible purpose they have. Any questions I have are generally answered with "you need to speak to the neurologist about that."

    Get your GP to put some pressure on Anon 8:11.

By Arie Gafson



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