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MS Trust welcomes early treatment consensus

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The MS Trust welcomes the new consensus on early treatment and monitoring for people living with relapsing remitting MS that has been announced today.

Amy Bowen, Director of Service Development at the MS Trust said: “We believe this consensus requires a new era in MS care – and the MS Trust is helping to lay the foundations. Treatment decisions are complex and can feel overwhelming. Our new independent guide to MS drugs, MS Decisions, helps people with MS become better informed about their treatment options. And by continuing to work closely with the NHS and MS health professionals, as well as ensuring every MS nurse, physio and OT is trained in MS specialist practice, the MS Trust will make sure that everyone with MS, whatever type or stage, receives the best possible care.”

The full text of the consensus that has been agreed by MS charities, health professionals and people with MS is as follows:

We believe that everyone with relapsing remitting MS should be offered disease modifying treatment as close to diagnosis as possible. There is a growing body of evidence that early treatment improves long-term health and wellbeing by slowing down the build-up of irreversible damage and reducing the number of relapses people experience.  We believe that making early treatment a reality requires a new era in MS care, focusing on proactive treatment, monitoring and care. Everyone with MS should benefit from access to the specialist services they need to manage their condition, as well as the information they need to make the choices that are right for them.

We are committed to working with national bodies, health professionals and people with MS to build a greater consensus and ensure everyone with MS gets the best possible care. In particular, we believe that everyone with MS should have:

  • a fast, accurate diagnosis
  • a treatment plan agreed within six months of diagnosis, developed in discussion with their neurologist and MS specialist nurse
  • ongoing access to a multidisciplinary team with expertise in managing MS, including an MS specialist nurse
  • a comprehensive review of their MS, including an MRI scan, every twelve months
  • the ability to change treatment if there are signs their MS is not responding to treatment.

The new version of MS Decisions can be found at mstrust.org.uk/ms-decisions. This independent, interactive guide helps people find out more about how MS drugs work, allows them to explore the factors that might affect their decision, see side-by-side comparisons of their options and have better conversations with their health professionals to find the choice that works for them.

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