We at the MS Academy are committed to being part of the change needed to end service variation for multiple sclerosis, and we know how key information sharing and education is to that change.

Part of our role is to share the meeting’s discussions and findings to as wide an audience as possible, and another is to help you all stay aware of the work taking place to end variation, enabling you to get involved wherever you want and need to be.

These ‘Spotlights’ will give you an in-depth look at some of the key issues raised at the Variance event, sharing some of the solutions considered and workstreams begun to make change a reality.

 

Why tackle variance in MS services?

This final article in our Spotlight series actually features the opening presenters at our ‘the Way Forward’ event. Yet after delving into the specifics of the true cost of disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) or the way we can use data to reduce variation, it brings us full circle, back to the reasons why we need to tackle variance in multiple sclerosis services, and […] 

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Spotlight on Blueteq data

Malcolm Qualie, Pharmacy Lead for Specialised Commissioning NHS England, spoke to ‘the Way Forward’ event on Blueteq’s potential contribution to reducing variance. Outlining the landscape for pharmacological interventions in the UK, the room was reminded that, due to people living longer, more complex and innovative medicines are being […] 

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Inequalities in access to health and social care

At ‘the Way Forward’ on 1-2nd November, health care professionals were specifically in attendance to tackle the problem of variance in multiple sclerosis (MS) services. As Professor Gavin Giovannoni noted when he summed up progress midway through the event, unwanted variance could just as happily be referred to as ‘inequality’ and this is […] 

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Variance in the provision of MS Nurse Specialists

At the multiple sclerosis (MS) service variance event on the 2nd November, David Martin, CEO of the MS Trust, began his talk with an apology. ‘This brilliant report has been buried on the MS Trust website,’ he said. David was speaking to the room on the variance in provision of MS specialist nurses, and the report he refers to is […] 

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‘Getting it right first time (GIRFT)’ – using data to improve clinical services

The national GIRFT programme was established by NHS Improvement in partnership with Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust and seeks to improve the quality of care within the NHS by reducing unwarranted variations. Dr Geraint Fuller leads on the neurology workstream and on 2nd November he presented to the […] 

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Learning from others: lessons from cardiac surgery

Prof Ben BridgewaterWhen faced with a daunting challenge, one of the best places to start is often to look at how others have tackled the same challenge; to take forward what they did well and to learn from their mistakes. On 2nd November, the multiple sclerosis (MS) community who had gathered in the name of ending MS service variancelistened to the lessons that […] 

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Developing the systems and tools to end variance

One of the discussions which happened time and time again during our ‘MS Service Provision in the UK: the Way Forward’ meeting on 1-2 November was around the systems, tools and mechanisms needed to end unwanted variance in MS services and support. From the usefulness of the systems for measuring disease progression to the systems we input data into, delegates shared their thoughts on the tools and […] 

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The ‘co-ordinated multidisciplinary team meeting’ and what that term really means

A coordinated multidisciplinary team, or ‘MDT’ is one of the things that almost all of healthcare can agree on as an essential part of care for someone living with a long-term condition, like multiple sclerosis (MS). This is supported by NICE guidance which clearly states that all patients should have access to one. In addition to this, managing patients through coordinated MDT meetings is […] 

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Empowered patients and the role of self-directed care

During the course of the two day MS Variance event, participants heard about the importance of engaging, involving, and empowering people living with MS as a key piece to ending service variation. A core view expressed during various presentations both by professionals involved in healthcare, people living with MS, and those with experience of […] 

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Monitoring DMTs and the costs associated with good care

At the MS Variance meeting, Rachel Dorsey-Campbell, neuroscience pharmacist at the Imperial NHS Trust, presented her team’s latest research project examining the real cost of effective and safe monitoring for disease-modifying treatments (DMTs). Rachel, graduate of the MS MasterClass, winner of the MS 3 MasterClass Project Award 2018 and one of eight […] 

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The NHSE DMT Algorithm and the challenges it poses

The driving force behind the MS Variance meeting came from another event the Neurology Academy hosted earlier this year: the debate over the pros and cons of the new NHS England MS algorithm for disease-modifying treatments (DMTs). That one algorithm meeting threw up a whole array of discussion points, and we heard viewpoints across health and industry, both in favour of, and […] 

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