TiMS newsletter issue 10


Welcome to the Autumn edition of the TiMS newsletter. This is an extra long newsletter but please take time to read it to find out how we are progressing with our on-going projects such as the Self-reported Assessment Tool and about the ideas we have for new courses and projects such as the development of a respiratory pathway for MS.

The MS Trust conference in Hinckley is on 4-6 November 2018 and we will be reporting on many of our projects at the conference. There has been a record number of bursaries given to therapists this year and the programme really reflects the importance of Therapists in MS care. We really hope you can join us this year and we look forward to seeing you. The TiMS meeting will be on Sunday 4 November at 11.45-12.45; if you are attending the conference we would love to see you there. Also there will be five Pharma-sponsored symposia and we would really encourage attendance so we can demonstrate our gratitude for their support.

Self-reported assessment tool

The MS Self-Reported Annual Review Assessment Tool (AR) has recently been piloted in sixteen sites across the UK with a variety of professionals. The pilot demonstrated that the AR tool was generally feasible to implement, with most services considering it a useful adjunct to practice. TiMS will be presenting a poster on the full results at Conference and it should then be available on the TiMS website in the New Year.

Cognition study day

TiMS are organising a cognition study day on Wednesday 27 March 2019 at Jurys Inn Hinckley Island Hotel, Leicester, for therapists and nurses working with MS. The aim will be to raise awareness of cognitive difficulties, to help clinicians to develop greater ability to detect cognitive difficulties within their current practice and to offer hints and tips to enable clinicians to work more effectively with those clients.

AHP competency framework for progressive neurological conditions

For many years now, therapists have needed a profession-specific, peer-reviewed, evidence-based set of competencies so that they are aware of the skills and knowledge they need to manage MS optimally.

The AHP competency framework for progressive neurological conditions is a general framework that has been developed by PDUK, MNDA and the MS Trust. It is nearing completion and should be published in the New Year. TiMS is working closely with the charities to ensure that this framework is fit for purpose and useful to therapists working with people with MS.

To complement this framework, TiMS has published two knowledge and skills matrices for OTs and Physios. To date over 170 copies of the draft matrices have been requested. In the next couple of months we will be asking teams to give feedback on their experience of using them. This feedback will be used to draw up a definitive document that will, hopefully, be of use to therapists at all stages of their careers.

Audit tool update

The TiMS working group are working with the MS Trust and UKMSSNA on a project to develop an audit tool for MS services. It is hoped that the findings will provide evidence for specifying the fundamentals of an MS service as well as help the development of template pathways in MS. The MS Trust now have a dedicated resource to support the project team and expect to start taking it forward by the end of the year.

MS Lecturer/Practitioner Nicki Abel

It is with great sadness that we heard the news about the loss of our dear friend, and TiMS supporter, MS Lecturer/Practitioner Nicki Abel. Our sincere condolences go out to her family, and we celebrate the extensive support Nicki gave to TiMS, the MS Trust, and to people affected by MS, both in her home town of Birmingham, nationally and internationally.

Health coaching tools and behavioural change theory

At the TiMS Working Group meeting in September, Dr Freya Davies from Cardiff University presented her work on the use of health coaching tools to support self-management in MS, and Emma Royal, Specialist Neurological Occupational Therapist from Bucks Community Neurological Rehabilitation Service, gave a succinct overview of applying behavioural change theory to clinical practice.

Freya’s presentation on health coaching described how it is a patient centred approach whereby the patient partly determines health goals in partnership with a coach. This helps to develop intrinsic motivation to change and incorporates patient-identified solutions to problems.

Evidence shows that the rise in motivation from patients helps to increase confidence in clinicians, and helps to balance workloads, bringing cost saving implications.

Emma’s overview explained how her service had carried out a review that found that there seemed to be barriers to rehabilitative progression for some patients, despite these patients having sufficient levels of physical and cognitive abilities.

After gathering information and researching the issues, it was decided to implement a new pathway of delivery using an evidence based practice model. This process established a new questioning technique (Motivational Interviewing) to assess patients’ level of acceptance of their condition and readiness to move forward with active rehabilitation.

This new approach enabled health professionals to better understand patients’ priorities and motivation to change. This provided opportunities to improve clinical efficiency and allows increased versatility within the service.

View Emma's behavioural change theory presentation (PDF, 185KB).


TiMS will be contributing to a regular blog piece for the MS Trust health professional web pages. Topics will include:

  • MS Trust Conference
  • Sativex
  • SUMS research
  • Using the annual review questionnaire
  • Health coaching
  • Behavioural change theory

NICE Draft Proposal Guideline

As a registered stakeholder, TiMS has recently responded to the proposed update of the NICE 2014 Guideline. The proposal indicated that rehabilitation is gaining a larger focus with a systematic review of 39 studies evidencing the effectiveness of rehabilitation in improved function and participation in people with MS.

Ask TiMS

This time, TiMS would like to ask you a question...

We would like to ask all those therapists out there who do anything regarding assessment/ treatment/research of respiratory problems to help us by sending details of any information/service provision/treatment they provide, at any level of intervention.

This will help us to look at research, best practice and what is out there, supporting our aim of continuing to promote and learn about this important topic. Please contact therapistsinms@mstrust.org.uk if you are able to help!

TiMS working group meeting

The working group met in London in September for their autumn meeting. Please contact therapistsinms@mstrust.org.uk if you would like a copy of the minutes from this meeting.

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