Ayrshire & Arran MS campaign begins

Research shows one in ten people with condition do not seek support often enough

Thursday 30th May 2019

A campaign encouraging people with multiple sclerosis (MS) to seek support for their condition launches today in Ayrshire and Arran, as statistics show one in ten people with the condition see a specialist less than guidelines recommend.

The 1MSg campaign, backed by biotech company Biogen and Ayrshire Central Hospital’s Douglas Grant Rehabilitation Centre, aims to ensure people with MS see a specialist nurse or neurologist at least once a year.

Dr Jenny Preston, consultant occupational therapist and clinical lead at the Douglas Grant Centre, said: “It is vital that we keep in touch with our patients so we are aware of how they are managing their health. We can also keep them up-to-date with new medications and treatments that could really benefit them.”

MS, which affects around 100,000 people across the UK, is a progressive illness that causes nerve damage and can lead to speech and cognitive problems.

Early treatment is thought to be key to be slowing the progression of symptoms and reduce relapses, while regular engagement with health professionals brings benefits including advice on relapse management.

Mhairi Coutts, a specialist nurse at the Douglas Grant Centre, says: “We are here to help. We can really build relationships with our patients if we see them regularly.

“This regular contact also means that if a patient finds their condition is getting worse or they just have a simple question, they are more likely to pick up the phone to us. Our patients are the reason we do our jobs and we want to make their MS as easy for them to manage as possible."