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Working together to improve care for MS patients

NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is supporting the Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society this week in its campaign to raise public awareness and understanding of the incurable neurological condition.

More than 100,000 people in the UK have MS and there is currently no cure. There is however lots of options for treating and managing many of the symptoms, including drug treatments, exercise and diet.

Dr Mark Hayes, Chief Officer of NHS Vale of York CCG, said: “The CCG recently gave the green light to work up plans to improve services for neurology patients across the Vale of York.

“Since commissioning a review of neurology services we are now involving local people with multiple sclerosis (MS), as well as patients with other neurological conditions to design joined-up pathways of care that meet their needs.

“Patient and public opinion are the foundations that the CCG builds upon to shape decisions and services. That is why we asked neurological commissioning experts from Neurological Commissioning Support (NCS) to talk to service users and ask them what they thought good services should offer.

“Our decision to work with NCS provides the impartiality that is needed between the CCG and the provider Trust. So far service users have told us that they want to access coordinated care in a local setting and we will use this feedback to deliver what the community needs.”

Marilyn Ekers, a local MS patient and Acting Chair of North Yorkshire and York Neurological Alliance who attended the recent Let’s Talk about Neurological Conditions event, said: “The event provided a great opportunity for people with MS and health professionals to work together and have their say.

“There was a real ‘buzz’ in the room as people shared their ideas for improving the coordination of all aspects of MS care.

“I support the CCG in raising important awareness of the disease and its symptoms so the community can recognise these and access the right support and treatment as soon as possible.”

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