Tania, an MS Trust Advanced MS Champion in Bristol, shares her experience of the role.
What are some of your favourite anecdotes from working with people with advanced MS?
One of my favourite anecdotes is from my work with a patient, Maria. She said I improved her quality of life, and said: "I can discuss any issue with Tania. She forwards it to the relevant person and my issue is dealt with efficiently and effectively. Having an Advanced MS Champion supporting me floods me with confidence to live my life - not just survive."
Why did you apply for the role of an Advanced MS Champion?
I applied for this role as I felt that people with advanced MS would benefit from better coordinated services to manage their complex needs. It is a wonderful opportunity to be in a proactive role to improve service delivery and resolve some of the barriers to people with advanced MS accessing the services we know they need.
What are your favourite aspects of the role?
One of my favourite aspects of the role is collaborating and enhancing the amazing work already carried out by other health professionals and being able to provide additional specialist MS support, input and interventions.
What are the most challenging parts of the role?
The more challenging parts of the role involve working with patients who may not have the verbal capacity to express their needs.
Why you think more Advanced MS Champions should be placed across the UK?
Covid-19 has impacted on the NHS, and Advanced MS Champions are more important than ever. We can support people with advanced MS who may have experienced reduced access to health professionals to manage their symptoms and the early interventions we know are vital.