Leicester Hospitals is delighted to welcome the first two new MS nurses to be funded and trained by the MS Trust as part of its nationwide specialist nurse programme.
The MS Trust estimates there are around 1600 people living with MS in the Leicestershire and Rutland area. They live with a lifelong, unpredictable, sometimes deliberating condition. Joanne Pughe and Jonathan Maisey will be delivering care across the county and will support patients through diagnosis, help them to maintain their health while living with the condition, and continue to provide expert care and guidance. They also work closely with other health and social care professionals to help plan patient care.
The MS Trust has supported the recruitment of both nurses and the Specialist Nurse Programme will be funding one full-time post for 15 months with Leicester’s Hospitals reviewing the extension of the posts after that time. Over the coming months the MS Trust will work with the Leicester MS team to help them make the most of the new nurses and demonstrate the difference they make to local people.
Pam Macfarlane, Chief Executive of the MS Trust, explains: “The MS Trust has long campaigned about the need for more MS nurses, but this is the first time it has taken the step of helping develop and fund new posts itself.
“Everyone is incredibly excited about the new MS nurses in Leicester. We hope these nurses will make a huge difference to the hundreds of local people living with MS. We’re grateful to all our supporters for helping us take the first step towards our overall goal of making sure that no one in the UK has to manage MS alone.”
The MS Trust conducts regular research into nursing levels across the UK and has found around two-thirds of the 108,000 people with MS in the UK live in areas where there are not enough MS nurses. The research highlighted Leicester as one of the area’s most urgently in need of support.
Allison Smith, MS Specialist Nurse for Leicester’s Hospitals, added: “We were so pleased to be the recipients of the MS Trust funding. We have really big plans to support people with MS throughout Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland by having more community clinics and allowing more access to MS specialists. We have around 1600 people with MS known to us and I am sure they will be happy to hear that they will now have more access to support.
“MS specialist nurses are vital for people living with MS. They can help them adjust to diagnosis, consider complicated treatment options, manage a wide range of symptoms and learn to live well with an unpredictable, often debilitating, lifelong condition.
“Without MS nurses, people with MS may have to manage difficult symptoms alone and they may also have to rely on expensive emergency care when their symptoms get worse.”
Jon Knight, from Melton Mowbray, has been supported by the MS nurses in Leicester since he was diagnosed with MS almost 10 years ago. He said: “I would like to say thank you very much to all the MS Trust’s supporters. The new MS nurses will make such a difference. You could go through something like MS alone, or you could go through it with someone at the end of the phone who you can rely on. I would always take the second option, definitely. Funding this to help people like me is amazing.”