TiMS newsletter issue 6


Summer is here and the TiMS working group has been busy developing some exciting projects over the past months including competencies, an annual review form, respiratory study day and some educational videos. These tools should be available for you to use in your practice later this year so read on to find out more.....  

We are here to help you manage people with MS so please contact therapistsinms@mstrust.org.uk if you want to join the Working Group, tell us about new ways of working, or if you need advice or support on managing MS.

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

Study day

Assessment and treatment of the respiratory aspects of neurological disease - a specialist study day

Organised by TiMS in partnership with the MS Trust this specialist study day will have a practical focus to give you the tools to manage respiratory problems in people with MS more effectively from the onset of the disease to the advanced stages.

Date: Tuesday 3 October 2017

Venue: Novotel Birmingham Centre

AHP competencies

We are delighted that the AHP competency project is in the final stages of completion and is on schedule for publication in the autumn. These competencies will be for physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists and dietitians and will cover MS, PD and MND.

Annual review form

TiMS have consulted on the annual review tool - a self-review form completed by patients prior to an annual review appointment to focus discussions and highlight priorities to address. Feedback was positive with only a few minor changes suggested. The TiMS research group have agreed to undertake a user testing project to evaluate the form.

Other news

MS Trust's Advanced MS Champions project

Since 1987 the October Club, a group of financiers working in the City of London Equity Business, has raised over £10 million for transformational projects. For their 30th anniversary they have chosen to raise funds for the MS Trust’s Advanced MS Champions project.

Thanks to this support, the MS Trust is able to launch a new three-year programme to fund new Advanced MS Champions to bring co-ordinated care and support to people living with complex and challenging symptoms. AHPs are often best placed to provide care to this group and are therefore pivotal to the success of the project. The October Club investment will leave a huge and lasting legacy for the future.   

Online video tutorials

The TiMS education group are producing a series of short video tutorials for novice-level therapists (and carers) on managing spasticity in people with MS. The tutorials will cover assessment, triggers, handling/moving, positioning and self-management. Filming has taken place and the tutorials will be available on the TiMS website in the autumn.  

TiMS working group meeting

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

Ask TiMS

If you have a question about any aspect of managing MS, contact therapistsinms@mstrust.org.uk and we will do our very best to answer it. We publish one question in every newsletter.


I have a patient with severe MS who is tetraplegic. She is short of breath and is prone to chest infections. Would breath-stacking techniques help her?


Respiratory dysfunction is common in MS and often starts in the early stages of the disease. When the respiratory muscles weaken it can be difficult for people to take deep breaths and breath-stacking techniques may help to get more air into the lungs. It is certainly worth a try. However, in the severe stages of MS, people can find this technique difficult to perform or unhelpful because the respiratory muscles are not strong enough to take in much air. A Lung Volume Recruitment (LVR) kit may be useful. The kit allows the patient or their carer to use a self-inflating bag to add more air into the lungs with each inhalation. Do not use these bags with patients until you have been shown how to use them by your local respiratory team. Hope that helps!

For your information

MS Trust Conference

The MS Trust conference brings the MS health professional community together to learn, share expertise and focus on improving care for everyone affected by MS. This year's conference is building on the work of MS Forward View and highlighting the importance of delivering holistic care to everyone with MS, with a particular focus on the needs of people with advanced MS. It's going to be a great event with an exciting, high quality programme designed to facilitate shared multidisciplinary learning, helping teams to come together to make a difference for people with MS now.

Once again the MS Trust are delighted to offer therapists a significant number of bursaries covering a maximum of 75%. Visit the conference website for programme details, learning outcomes, poster submission information and to book your place.

Bursary schemes

The MS Trust offers generous bursary schemes for registered nurses and allied health professionals to access education and training. The Therapists Education Fund is aimed primarily at physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists and psychologists. The Helen Ley Bursary Fund supports registered nurses and allied health professionals who work with people with advanced MS. Rules and eligibility can be found on our funding your learning page.

QuDoS in MS 2017 is now open for entries!

The QuDoS in MS recognition programme is a fantastic opportunity to recognise, celebrate and promote the work of dedicated, talented MS health professionals and to learn about innovative and exciting projects.  AHPs dont get enough of a platform to share best practice and we really encourage you to put yourself and/or your team forward for an award. There is no limit to the number of categories you can enter. The entry deadline is 17:00 on Monday 4 September. For further information take a look at the QuDoS website.

Foundation Training (Development Module)

The 'development of multiple sclerosis care and management for specialists' module is a week-long residential course for health professionals who specialise in supporting people with MS. It provides a strong foundation of MS knowledge upon which additional specialist knowledge can develop. If you know anyone who has been in post around six months and has a caseload of ›50% people with MS let them know about this excellent training course. Further details can be found on our foundation training page.

FES clinics/centres

The MS Trust is updating its map of MS services, including data for FES clinics/centres. The map is for people with MS to see what is available in their area and how to be referred to a service. If you provide FES, please advise:

  • Where it’s provided (including the centre/clinic postcode)
  • Geographical area covered
  • Contact details (optional – phone and/or email)
  • Referral (e.g. self-referral, via GP, etc.)
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