TiMS newsletter issue 2


Welcome to the second TiMS newsletter! We would like to thank those of you who read our first newsletter. From the stats, 33% of you opened the newsletter which is higher than the average (25%) and we were very pleased with this. We hope that we are providing information that you want to read and that this readership figure will remain or even increase.

Please feel free to contact therapistsinms@mstrust.org.uk if you have ideas on how TiMS can work more effectively for you.  

Pam Bostock and Wendy Hendrie (Co-chairs of TiMS)

New members of the TiMS working group

The membership of the TiMS working group has reduced so we will be approaching some of the health professionals who have expressed an interest in joining. If this proves successful we  will have a full complement of physiotherapists, however we still need OTs, SLTs or other allied health professionals. Would you be interested in joining the working group? If so please contact therapistsinms@mstrust.org.uk to find out more.


This year's conference highlights the crucial role of the multidisciplinary team in MS care. The conference programme provides time for shared multidisciplinary learning as well as bespoke sessions for the different professional groups. A generous bursary scheme is available for AHPs.

Service development

Here is an update on the service developments that TiMS is currently involved with...

Competency framework for AHPs working with people with long-term neurological conditions

The competency framework is taking shape thanks to many AHPs around the country (including many experts in the field) who have offered their help. The competencies cover four professions (PT, OT, SLT and dietitians) and four bands (5-8). Twenty competencies have been identified and will be completed for each profession, band and condition - a daunting task to say the least! However, once finished it should prove to be an invaluable tool that not only helps to identify gaps in skills and knowledge for individuals but also makes it easier to identify the vital role of AHP specialists in the management of these conditions. It will be an on-line tool and people can access either the whole document or download the competencies specific to their needs.  We will continue to keep you updated of progress, please contact therapistsinms@mstrust.org.uk if you would like to get involved in writing or reviewing it.

Annual review form for people with MS

A draft review form has been produced that includes all aspects of care for pwMS and this will be trialled shortly. TiMS is also hoping to produce a document for health professionals and pwMS outlining what should be covered in an annual review and where to go for help. The annual review form could help pwMS to become more self-managing, ensure all areas of MS care are reviewed at least annually and be an educational tool for the MDT.

Other news

Working group - June meeting minutes

The working group met at the beginning of June, please contact therapistsinms@mstrust.org.uk if you would like a copy of the minutes from this meeting

New course

Residential course on multi-disciplinary neuro-rehabilitation in MS - 6-7 October 2017, Switzerland

Endorsed by RIMS, this course is aimed at neurologists, physiotherapists and physiatrists to learn about the most advanced neuro-rehabilitation techniques in MS.  Discounted rates are available for RIMS members.

Building the evidence - online research guide

TiMS and the UKMSSNA have produced a guide to research for MS nurses and therapists. Building the Evidence, a practical guide which demystifies research and writing for publication, using case studies and step-by-step guides, is available on the MS Today Clinical Community. Membership is free to all MS nurses and therapists.  

NICE quality standards for MS

The NICE quality standards for MS were published in January 2016. TiMS ensured that the standards included supporting people with MS to remain active.

RIMS fellowship

RIMS is offering clinical fellowships worth 1,000 Euros to AHPs who want to visit centres around Europe which offer MS services.

Ask TiMS

If you have a problem concerning any aspect of MS management or service provision, please contact therapists@mstrust.org.uk, you will receive a reply within 2 weeks.

Each quarter we will publish one question which has been sent to the TiMS working group:


I am a SLT and have a patient with MS who finds it difficult to keep their head up as the day goes on. This makes talking and eating difficult. Has anyone got any tips on how to manage this problem?


Fatigue can vary during the day, so a postural assessment could be carried out at different times of the day. Head control can be affected by poor posture, so it may be worth examining the alignment of the rest of the body. A referral to a Neuro Occupational Therapist or Physiotherapist can help assess this. TiMS published a booklet 'Are you sitting comfortably..?' which may be of interest. An arm chair/wheelchair with head support and a tilt in space function may give more supportive rest, allowing greater levels of energy and function at meal times. Matchett Support Systems make a chin support and another very useful head support is the Headmaster collar.

Has anyone carried out an energy diary to establish when energy levels are at their highest/lowest during the day meals could perhaps focus around times of greatest energy. Regular periods of rest are vital in managing fatigue and maximising function. Dealing with external stimuli (TV, radio, people talking) at the same time as eating can be fatiguing cognitively a quieter environment may help with fatigue levels and head control. A person over-heating (sitting behind a hot window, in a very hot room or in an area where there is great humidity) can induce fatigue and affect levels of energy. A cold, damp tea towel or similar wrapped around the back of the neck, eating/drinking cold things when wanting to talk may help. The MS Trust has a great leaflet 'Living with fatigue' which offers some really good advice.

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