Ruth, an MS Trust Advanced MS Champion in Norfolk and Norwich, shares her experience of the role.
What are some of your favourite anecdotes from working with people with advanced MS?
I think some of my favourite anecdotes include:
- When a patient thanked me for working with a consultant to get her a prompt tone assessment, enabling this to occur at home.
- A wife of a patient thanking me for a comprehensive letter that she felt really summed up her husband’s difficulties. She said she felt she has needed a review like this for some time.
- One time, a social services occupational therapist thanked me for my input and manual handling experience, as I was able to identify other aids which may work to reduce falls in transferring.
- The mother of a patient thanked me for me input and had noticed that "I always asked how she was".
- Similarly, a patient’s wife felt speaking with me was the first time a health professional had made her feel positive about a situation.
- A patient of mine saying that my "help, advice and support is invaluable".
Why did you apply for the role of an Advanced MS Champion?
I applied for role of the Advanced MS Champion as have always enjoyed working with people with MS, and I recognise the short fall of current services for people with MS. It felt a good opportunity to use my skills as a physiotherapist to holistically assess and manage people with MS from a specialist perspective.
What are your favourite aspects of the role?
One of favourite aspects of the role is definitely getting to know people with MS more personally. I also really value having time to be able to explore the problem a person with MS is identifying with, and helping them to manage this to achieve a better quality of life.
What are the most challenging parts of the role?
One of the most challenging parts of the role is trying to get funding for more specialist equipment.
Why you think more Advanced MS Champions should be placed across the UK?
Advanced MS Champions increase the well-being of those managing their MS, which is very important. The pilot posts have also shown Advanced MS Champions to be cost-saving, and long term will save the NHS money.