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Note From Our MS Nurses

Most of you probably know one or both of us (Julie Webster and Helen Willis, MS Nurses).

The MS Nurse service was establish approximately 15 years ago, there have been many faces over the years but we are both quite settled in our roles and there are no perceived changes for the foreseeable future. Many things have changed in our service including the loss of community service in 1996 (due to NHS changes and capacity), steroid treatment by drip becoming available at St Peters (Maldon) and Braintree community hospital, the introduction of disease modifying therapies and more recently new drugs; Tysabri (for aggressive relapsing remitting patients) and Gilenya ( an oral tablet for people who have failed on disease modifying treatments and have severe relapsing remitting MS), it is likely in the coming years we will see more drugs come onto the market making our job even more challenging and complex.

Our service;
Helen and I are based at Broomfield hospital. We run between 2 and 4 nurse led clinics a week (Monday afternoons, the 4th Tuesday afternoon of the month, the 3rd 4th and 5th wed morning of the month and a clinic on the 2nd Tuesday morning of the month for patients on injection therapy and alternate week Friday afternoon clinics at St Peters hospital in Maldon). We are also in clinic with Dr Zoukos all day on the 1st and 2nd Tuesdays of the month; a clinic for newly diagnosed and patients on or requiring disease modifying treatment.
We are lucky to have a secretary (Anna Belcham) who helps us greatly; she is part funded by the hospital and partly by two of the drug companies.
Registered charity nos. 1139257 / C041990.
Registered as a limited company in England and Wales no. 07451571

How do we spend our time:
Clinics, responding to telephone calls and e-mails; making referrals to other services such as the continence advisors, social services, physio, OT, wheelchair services, community matrons. Managing medications, managing the disease modifying therapies (a whole job in itself!!), Service improvement, education. The list is endless.
We are also lucky to have close links with the psychotherapy and counselling team to whom we are able to refer directly.

When you see a Neurologist
Be confident!! We know sometimes it can be an overwhelming experience!
Write down what you want to ask before you go so you don’t forget anything.
Don’t be afraid to ask the consultant to explain anything you don’t understand.
Links with the MS Society

We feel very lucky that we have such strong links and excellent support from the local MS Society branches. They provide a very good newly diagnosed course which runs twice a year in Margaretting.
We have recently purchased 3 leaflet racks, through funding from the MS Society. They are situated in area 110, wait 2 at Broomfield hospital, St Peters outpatient department, and on the day therapies unit at Broomfield Hospital which are regularly restocked very kindly by members of the local branches.
We also have access to a bladeless fan again donated by the MS Society for use of patients at Broomfield. So if you are an in-patient at Broomfield, and feel a need for the fan, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

How to access us.
We can see anyone who is under the care of any of the Neurologists at Broomfield Hospital
If you live within Chelmsford, Braintree or Maldon (or surrounding) areas you can access us via a referral from your GP. The GP can send a request for an appointment. Initially you will see one of the consultant neurologists who will refer you to us.
If you have a problem relating to your MS that you are worried about please don’t hesitate to contact us on 01245 516829 or by e-mail cns.ms@meht.nhs.uk.
We are not an emergency service, if your problem is urgent you should contact your GP. We are unfortunately unable to provide a community service and are unable to see patients at home.

Julie and Helen

A Few Words From The Chair

You may recall in our last newsletter that we were considering the future of the social evenings which currently take place on the last Tuesday of every month at Mountnessing Village Hall. It is with some regret that a decision has been made to cancel these during the Winter months, which is when our numbers decline due to the Winter climate. Our last social evening will therefore take place on Tuesday, 30th October 2012 at the usual venue of Mountnessing Village Hall. The meetings will recommence on the last Tuesday of April; 30th April 2013, at 7.30pm British Summer Time.
I am pleased to report that the lunchtime social gatherings, which started as an experiment, have proved a popular date in the calendar. Therefore these will continue throughout the year and dates will be published as they are scheduled.
The two exercise classes also prove to be popular and continue to go from strength to strength with thanks to the enthusiastic group of volunteers whose help is much appreciated. There are times when we are unable to do as many activities in a class due to the other commitments of our volunteers. I would urge you to encourage anyone who may be able to spare a few hours on a Monday or Thursday to contact me, even if they can only manage a couple of weeks support, everything helps.
On the topic of volunteers, I am extremely pleased to report that we have a new Committee member who has volunteered to take on the role of the Secretary; something I am personally very grateful for.
On last note, I would like to thank all of you who replied to the questionnaire we issued with the last Newsletter. There was a 30% response rate, which is a great achievement as 10% is considered the ‘norm’. I now feel we know and understand our members on an individual level, and this will help when planning new activities. The Committee plan to review the replies during the Winter months in preparation for the New Year.
I look forward to seeing many of you at this year’s Christmas Dinner, details of which are at the end of this Newsletter.
Regards,
Les Lodge

Monthly Meeting

You may recall in our last newsletter that we were considering the future of the social evenings which currently take place on the last Tuesday of every month. It is with some regret that a decision has been made to cancel these during the Winter months, which is when our numbers decline due to the Winter climate. Our last social evening will therefore take place on Tuesday, 30th October 2012. The meetings will recommence on the last Tuesday of April; 30th April 2013, at 7.30pm British Summer Time.