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MS-UK heads to the MS Trust annual conference

On 04 November our Head of Services Diana Crowe, and Laura Amiss-Smith from our MS-UK Helpline attended the 23rd MS Trust annual conference. This year the focus was on the needs of people with multiple sclerosis (MS) from point of diagnosis to end of life, whilst highlighting the importance of delivering holistic care to everyone with MS. 

We had an exhibition stand for a day and we were able to talk to a variety of health professionals, including MS specialist nurses, occupational therapists (OTs) and physiotherapists about the work of MS-UK. We promoted our counselling service and Choices booklets, both of which generated a lot of interest, which was great!

We were both able to attend a couple of the seminars. Diana attended one on ‘MS and work – staying in work and leaving work well’ which was led by two clinical specialist occupational therapists from London. They shared some interesting facts about how 60 to 80 per cent of people with MS lose their job within 15 years because they struggle with fatigue, reduced mobility and cognition. They talked about the barriers to work which included attitudes of employers, demands of the role and activity limitations. The OTs spoke about the importance of early intervention, support to manage work performance and liaison with employers around reasonable adjustments which are just some of the things that can help people with MS to remain in work. The MS-UK blog recently published an article on this same topic.

Laura attended a seminar on ‘The pregnancy year – implementing a MS pregnancy service’ which was delivered by a consultant neurologist, MS specialist nurse, specialist midwife and Sally Darby, founder of Mums Like Us. Discussion was around how to support a woman from the moment they mention their wish to conceive, right the way through to after the baby is born. They also talked about the support for men when discussing drug therapies and their potential impact on reproduction. A personal story was shared by Sally Darby and was very inspiring. She spoke of the importance of community after she found pregnancy and becoming a new mum isolating, with not much support for the disabled mother. She founded an online network called Mums Like Us in 2017 after the birth of her second child.

It was a great to be in the company of so many who work within the MS community.

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