The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) published the revised clinical guideline Management of multiple sclerosis in primary and secondary care in October 2014.
According to NICE "clinical guidelines are systematically-developed recommendations on how healthcare and other professionals should care for people with specific conditions. The recommendations are based on the best available evidence."
The 2014 MS Guideline identifies the following key priorities for implementation:
- rapid referral for diagnosis, which should not be based on MRI alone
- information and support, especially around the time of diagnosis
- co-ordination of care, involving the multidisciplinary team, identified as including: neurologist, MS specialist nurse, physiotherapist and occupational therapist, speech and language therapist, psychologists, dietitians, continence specialists and social care
- supervised exercise programmes for people with MS who have mobility problems and/or fatigue
- treat relapses with oral steroids
Not key priorities, but also positive steps forward for MS, are recommendations around:
- an annual review by a healthcare professional with expertise in MS
- cognitive symptoms of MS
NICE guidelines only apply to services in England.
NHS Quality Improvement Scotland (now called Healthcare Improvement Scotland) published national standards of care for neurological conditions in October 2009.
Wales normally follows NICE guidance.
The Department for Health for Northern Ireland reviews NICE guidance. The NICE MS Guideline was accepted and an endorsement decision published.