Research by: Dr Catherine Donaldson, Neurology Specialty Doctor, Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust

All of our attendees carry out a piece of research in an area of MS clinical practice or treatment that interests them. 

This snapshot gives you a quick idea of what they found and why. If you want to learn more, just click through to the full poster, or follow the links within the snapshot. 

If you would like to contact the alumni who did the research, drop us a line and we’ll put you in touch where possible.




To identify areas within the service that could benefit from additional measures to improve efficiency and patient experience on the journey from referral to diagnosis.


The data collection project was initiated after the introduction of a Clinical Communication Gateway (CCG) electronic advice service for primary care.

It looked at the main referral sources, and whether the time to neuroimaging, assessment, and diagnosis was affected by referral route. 

It also looked at the time from referral to commencement on disease modifying therapy (DMT), and treatment choices.

Key findings

  • In the year from September 2018, the service made 45 new diagnosis of MS.
  • The average time to diagnosis was 29 weeks for CCG referral, compared to 13.7 weeks for neurology consultant referral 
  • Of those who started on DMT, the average time from diagnosis to treatment initiation was 28.5 weeks (range: 7.5 to 70 weeks).
  • The original source for the majority of new diagnoses was CCG (26.6%)


The time to diagnoses was shortest where made via a neurology referral. While this can, at least in part, be explained by the fact that many of the investigations would have already been completed in this scenario, the significant variation requires consideration.

Take action

View the poster or contact Catherine to discuss the work (please put the name of the Snapshot as your title in our contact form)