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June 2008 Off the Wire . . .




MS Society Co-Funding Physio Posts To Meet Demand, UK

Main Category: Multiple Sclerosis
Article Date: 17 Jun 2008 - 3:00 PDT

The MS Society is funding specialist MS physiotherapist posts to meet a need demonstrated by people living with multiple sclerosis (MS), and to combat NHS cuts.

In an interview on the BBC Radio 4 You and Yours programme, MS Society chief executive, Simon Gillespie, said that the charity was increasingly having to fund physiotherapy posts at a cost of 40,000 each due to a shortage.

He said: "For somebody with multiple sclerosis there are clear needs to make sure people stay as mobile as possible, for as long as possible, and to aid with problems like spasticity, which is common for poeple with later stage MS.

"Physiotherapy has clear and obvious benefits and as the disease progresses, it means they can enjoy a better quality of life and for many people it may give the chance to maintain employment for longer, which is of course of benefit to everyone."

It has been previously reported that due to budget cuts, newly graduated physiotherapists were struggling to find jobs. As a result, applications to physiotherapy courses have fallen sharply.

The demand for MS specialist physiotherapists, however, is on the rise and the MS Society is increasingly being called upon to plug the funding shortfall.

Simon added that he hoped local health trusts would continue to fund MS specialist physiotherapy posts in the same way MS Nurse posts had been adopted.

"We've got a lot of experience in developing MS Nurses and for the last five years we've funded over 100 MS Nurses and we've developed the programme to make sure PCTs pick up the funding afterwards and we're hoping that will happen with physiotherapists.

"It's early days for us, but it's so important for poeple with MS."

Read the BBC News article online.

MS Society

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