TiMS newsletter issue 9


Welcome to the summer edition of our newsletter.

The summer is here and our thoughts turn to holidays, sitting in the garden and, for some of us, retirement. It has been predicted that 25% of experienced MS specialists in the UK will be retiring over the next 2 years. This means that many people with MS will shortly be losing the difficult-to-measure but well-known benefit of therapists with years of knowledge, skills and experience.

So if you are considering retirement, now may be the time to think about succession planning. TiMS resources may help you with that process and ensure that the people coming after you have the knowledge and skills they need to carry on the work you have been doing. Therapists new to MS (as well as more experienced therapists) may benefit from using the TiMS Competency (Skills and Knowledge) framework to help them identify gaps in their knowledge.

TiMS has just begun work on an audit which will help services look at how well they are performing and identify gaps against National standards. We are also currently piloting the self-assessment questionnaire which should help people with MS identify their needs on an annual basis. So no time to retire at the moment!

Hope you have a lovely summer.

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


The MS Trust conference is taking place from the 4 – 6 November in Hinckley. It’s going to be a great event with an exciting, high quality programme including therapy specific seminars.

To help with funding the MS Trust are offering 50 bursaries at 80% to TiMS members.

MS competencies

What do you think about the MS competency framework for Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists?

Since their launch in our last newsletter, 115 of you have requested the competencies and we welcome your feedback. The competencies are 'work in progress' so the more of you that try them out and tell us what you think, the further they can be developed and be of more value. A formal evaluation will take place in the autumn with a view to finalising the documents by the end of 2018.

MS self-reported assessment tool

15 pilot sites are now trialling the form and their feedback will be collated in August with a poster presentation being ready for the MS Trust conference in November.

We will keep you informed in our newsletter when the form will be available for you all to use.

Audit tool

This is moving forwards and TiMS hope to have more news on this tool which can be used to measure your service against the MS Forward View consensus statements and other guidelines.

TiMS members present poster at international conference

TiMS members Wendy Hendrie and Jenny Freeman presented their poster on the use of standing frames in MS at the Rehabilitation in MS (RIMS) conference at the end of May.

The Standing Up in MS (SUMS) website provides a range of information about their research as well as excellent resources for both people affected by MS and physiotherapists regarding the use of an Oswestry Standing frame.

Other news

Are you receiving MS in Practice?

MS in Practice is the MS Trust’s new publication for health professionals.

TiMS plan to write a column in each edition and the MS Trust are keen for contributions from everyone.

  • Are you doing an interesting MSc?
  • Would you like to share your abstract or findings?
  • Have you written a case study?
  • Are you involved in innovative practice?

If you’ve spent time on any of these why not share some of the information with other health professionals working with MS.

If you would like to contribute please email hpteam@mstrust.org.uk.

Cognition in MS study day

TiMS are currently planning this event early next year. Watch this space!   

New RCP guidelines on using botulinum toxin

Read the new Royal College of Physicians (RCP) guidelines on using botox for spasticity management in adults.

TiMS working group meeting

The working group met in London at the beginning 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 therapists@mstrust.org.uk and we will do our very best to answer it. We publish one question in every newsletter.


At this time of year we are often asked for tips on managing symptoms assocated with increasing temperature.


Some top tips are:

  • Try wearing a damp T shirt when walking or doing chores to keep cool (sounds gruesome but really works!)
  • Don't have a hot drink or hot meal just before you want to do an activity
  • Keep a cold drink with you
  • Keep a cool gel neck scarf in the fridge or take it with you in a cool box - if you start to get tired, place it on the back of your neck (Meno cool scarf; TheraPearl neck wrap; Novawo cooling neck gel wrap). Great for all overheating but also if your head gets a bit floppy or speech or swallowing is affected.
  • Put an ice pack or small pack of frozen peas (wrapped in a damp flannel) on your forearms for 10 minutes if the heat makes the shaking in your arms worse
  • Try putting a small frozen plastic block in a bum-bag round your waist if you're on a long walk
  • Your body temperature regulator may be telling you it's cold when it isn't - beware of the effects of turning the heating up too high or putting too many clothes on, as the resultant increase in temperature may cause you to feel tired and weak
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