Multiple sclerosis campaign launched after nurse dropped from NHS Trust

Redbridge Mayor Cllr Chris Cummins visiting the Marjorie Collins Multiple Scerlosis Day Centre

Redbridge Mayor Cllr Chris Cummins visiting the Marjorie Collins Multiple Scerlosis Day Centre - Credit: Archant

A campaign for better multiple sclerosis care has been launched following the dismissal of a specialist nurse from the local NHS Trust.

The MS nurse post was set up in the Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust in 2003.

Up until 2009 drop-in clinics were held at Marjorie Collins Centre in Chadwell Heath and home visits made, with almost 700 people with MS receiving support.

But in the last three years the role became more hospital-based and the community clinics were phased out, and last month the NHS Trust made the nurse redundant.

The MS Society, which helped raise the £30,000 needed for the role, is campaigning to find out why neither patients nor the charity were consulted on this.

Carolin Seitz, the MS Society’s service development officer for London, said: “MS nurses provide a vital service to people with MS. Their specialist knowledge reassures people as they face daily challenges. Working this way means services can be responsive to people’s needs but also be cost effective by providing integrated care from home to hospital. Redbridge and Barking and Dagenham do not currently provide this essential service to their combined estimated MS population of 700.”

MS sufferer Michael Vechionne said: “I was a frequent visitor to my MS nurse and she helped me enormously. She helped me not just with my condition and the treatment I needed, but also acted as a bridge between me and other NHS services I could access.”

Most Read

Medical director of the NHS trust, Mike Gill, explained: “A careful review and consultation process discovered that the clinics run by our MS nurses have a particularly high rate of non-attendance by patients, and it was decided that the care could be provided differently.”

“We are very grateful for the financial support given to the trust by the Redbridge MS Society 12 years ago.”