Practical guides and useful links

3 min read

Below you'll find our collection of guides to managing symptoms and improving services, as well as links to professional organisations, clinical guidelines, policy briefings, reports, and related websites.

Professional organisations

UK MS Specialist Nurse Association (UKMSSNA)

The UKMSSNA is a professional membership organisation for Clinical Nurse Specialists and Therapists in MS. The UKMSSNA provides support, information and education to MS specialists across the UK, to enable them to provide appropriate healthcare services to people affected by MS

Therapists in MS (TiMS)

TiMS is an initiative which brings together allied health professionals who share a special interest in MS. TiMS supports, strengthens and promotes the role of therapy in MS care, and shares expertise among UK therapists working with people with MS. TiMS is supported and facilitated by the MS Trust.

Practical guides

Funding for MS services in England: a practical guide (PDF, 962KB)

Our 2016 guide to help health professionals understand commissioning (local and specialised) in MS services in England. Correct at time of publication (August 2016).

Eight Steps to Improving Your Relapse Service

Our 2016 practical consensus guide aimed at MS nurses, GPs and health professionals involved in relapse care for people with MS. In addition, our developing relapse services resources feature downloadable guides to help improve services.

MS and sex: a resource for health professionals (PDF, 8MB)

A 2014 consensus guide for healthcare professionals to enable discussions about key concepts of sexual health and wellbeing, determine the right assessment tools, explore how a sexual history is taken and more. Published by Oyster Healthcare Communications. Biogen paid for the development and printing of this resource, but generated none of the content.

You can also read this useful blog about supporting people with MS to discuss sexual problems in MS by MS nurses Nicki Abel, Denise Middleton and Lesley Catterall.

Bladder consensus resource (PDF, 2.2MB)

A 2009 leaflet for health professionals summarising a consensus on assessments for bladder problems in MS. This resource helps professionals offer appropriate tests and guidance to people with MS suffering from bladder problems.

Clinical guidelines

Treatment Algorithm for Multiple Sclerosis Disease-modifying Therapies (PDF, 535KB)

Treatment Algorithm (September 2018, NHS England) providing a framework to assist decision-making for MS specialists and people with MS, to reduce variation in prescribing across the UK, and to ensure effective, safe prescribing.

Factors influencing multiple sclerosis disease-modifying treatment prescribing decisions in the UK

An article (Cameron et al, January 2019), outlining a qualitative study to determine variation in prescribing Disease Modifying Drugs (DMDs) across the UK.

Pregnancy guidelines in MS

Guidelines for pregnancy care in MS, published in January 2019 and endorsed by the Association of British Neurologists. The guidelines bring together evidence from drug specific pregnancy registers and peer reviewed research. (Also read the MS Trust pregnancy guidelines news story, 10 January 2019).

NICE Quality Standard: Multiple Sclerosis [QS108]

This January 2016 quality standard covers the diagnosis and management of MS in adults consisting of a set of specific and measurable statements and drawing on previous guidance.

Association of British Neurologists: revised guidelines for prescribing disease-modifying treatments in multiple sclerosis

This 2015 report represents a consensus by British Neurologists on the use of all approved disease modifying treatments for MS in the UK.

NICE Guideline on MS

These 2022 guidelines define the standards of MS care for the NHS in England.

NHS England Clinical Commissioning Policy: Disease Modifying Therapies for Patients with Multiple Sclerosis (PDF, 525KB)

NHS England's 2014 criteria for NHS funding of DMT treatment in England.

National Service Framework for Long Term Neurological Conditions (PDF, 1.4MB)

Although no longer current, the 2005 NSF was an influential 10-year plan for improving neurological services in the NHS.

Briefings and reports

NHS Long Term Plan

Launched in January 2019, the NHS Long Term Plan report sets out NHS England's plan for the NHS for the next 10 years.

My MS My Needs: Is access to treatment still a lottery?

A September 2016 report by the MS Society based on the results of the My MS My Needs survey they conducted, which received over 11,000 responses: this is the largest collection of patient-reported data from the UK MS community to date.

Measuring the burden of hospitalisation in multiple sclerosis

This 2015 disease insight report was jointly written by NHiS Commissioning Excellence and the MS Trust to highlight how better, more cost effective services can be delivered for people with MS.

Brain Health: time matters in multiple sclerosis

This 2015 report presents consensus recommendations on diagnosis, therapeutic strategies and improving access to treatment in MS.

National audit of services for people with Multiple Sclerosis

Audits carried out in 2008 and 2011 by the Royal College of Physicians and the MS Trust.

Physiotherapy works: evidence briefing

A 2011 Chartered Society of Physiotherapy summary of evidence for physiotherapy.

Impact of Proactive Case Management by Multiple Sclerosis Specialist Nurses on Use of Unscheduled Care and Emergency Presentation in Multiple Sclerosis

A 2015 journal article based on a retrospective service evaluation reviewing the impact of the introduction of proactive nurse-led management and a rapid response service on the rates of emergency presentation, hospital admission and bed use.

Other websites

Strategic Clinical Networks

MS is covered by the 12 Strategic Clinical Networks across England covering Mental Health, Dementia and Neurological Conditions which exist to improve quality and link clinicians together.

Sustainability and Transformation Plans

NHS planning guidance for 16/17-20/21 to help ensure that health and social care services are built around the needs of local populations. To do this, every health and care system in England will produce a multi-year Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP), showing how local services will evolve and deliver the Five Year Forward View.

Apollo Nursing Resource

Developed by Ulster University and bringing together numerous resources providing evidence for the value of specialist nurses.

Capturing the impact of nurse consultants

Developed by Sheffield Hallam University and the Burdett Trust, this website has a useful toolkit on identifying and measuring outcomes.

Specialist neuro-rehabilitation service standards: providing for patients with complex rehabilitation needs (PDF, 710KB)

Service standards created by the British Society of Rehabilitation Medicine for specialist neuro-rehabilitation services.

The King's Fund

The King's Fund is an independent charity working to improve health and care in England. This website contains a number of useful resources, interesting blogs and key publications about health policy in England. In 2017, the King's Fund released a short video - 'How does the NHS in England work? An alternative guide' - which aims to demystify the complex structure of the NHS in England and how it is changing.

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