Palliative Care in MS
A palliative care service for people severely affected by MS
Sam Hart, Polly Edmonds, Rachel Burman, Eli Silber, Bella Vivat, Irene J Higginson
The research team was awarded a grant from the MS Society to develop and evaluate a new model of care.
In 2003 the project undertook a needs assessment to more clearly identify what services currently exist for patients with MND and MS, what patients, carers and healthcare professionals working with these patients feel is important and whether patients are able to access appropriate services. Following this a new team has been established, based at the Kings Neurosciences centre and working closely with the hospital palliative care team.
The new team identified patients with MS and MND that might have palliative care needs, in order to undertake specialist assessment, to collaborate with existing services to improve access to non hospital-based services and to undertake appropriate education of healthcare professionals, patients and carers. As the service was new and innovative, it was evaluated using a before and after design plus a comparison between fast track and standard referral times.
For publications please see our Resources section.
In addition to journal publications, the following have resulted from the study to date:
An online directory of MS Services in South East London
Covering the six boroughs of Lambeth, Lewisham, Southwark, Greenwich, Bexley and Bromley. Visit the directory here.
MS Essentials 16: Support for people severely affected by MS
Available on the MS Society website.