Last year, only 56% of people with MS received disease modifying treatments (DMT) across the UK, this is according to a recent national survey conducted by the MS Society. This is 16% higher than in 2013, but anecdotal evidence suggested that the figure may be much lower in East Anglia and in particular Norfolk.
As a result of these findings, Norfolk MS charity, Mustard Soup, which specialises in supporting young people living with MS, has decided to conduct its own survey and further research the accessibility of DMTs in the Norfolk area.
Kelly John, founder of the charity, is encouraging people living with MS in the area to take part in the ‘Access to MS Treatment’ survey to help make a difference to the current treatment services available locally.
“Getting a clear idea of the extent of the problem would be a great help to neurologists,” Kelly explained.
“The problem with treatment arises from the complexity of the disease and that it attacks several different functions of the body. So there is no one drug or type of treatment that can completely counter its effects,” she added.
Kelly stressed that the survey isn’t a complaint about the NHS or health professionals working to treat MS. “The NHS is under huge and increasing pressure when it comes to money and resources, but if we want understand the nature and extent of the problem locally, we need the facts from the Norfolk MS community, which we can then discuss with neurologists,” she said.
If you live in Norfolk and have MS, help make a difference by answering 10 short questions about the management of your condition. Your time and contribution will play an important role in making positive changes to local MS services. Click here to fill out the survey.