A report published by the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) and the MS Trust
states the NHS is failing people with multiple sclerosis (MS).
report identified that the estimated 85,000 people in the UK with MS are subject
to a "postcode lottery", with access to basic services - including pain relief -
a matter of geographical location.
The NHS is still failing to implement
2003 National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines on the
management of the condition.
An audit of services revealed that only 36%
of people with MS had access to neurological rehabilitation facilities and long
delays mean 50% of patients are waiting more than 20 weeks to be diagnosed after
a GP referral.
Simon Gillespie, chief executive of the MS Society said:
"It's vital that health services are held to account and this latest audit
confirms what our 40,000 members tell us - people with MS need access to more
and better care.
"The NICE guideline sets out a laudable range of care
and support on paper but it needs to be backed up in practice." Multiple Sclerosis