Northern Ireland scraps plans to delay MS treatments
Last Friday (13 October), the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust (BHSCT) announced that it was dropping plans to delay access to disease modifying therapies (DMTs) for people newly diagnosed with MS in Northern Ireland.
This announcement is a victory for the MS community after thousands of people came together across the UK to stop these plans.
What were the proposals?
The BHSCT announced plans to delay access to DMTs in August as part of a range of cost-saving measures.
The BHSCT holds the budget for the prescribing of all DMTs, so this would have led to delays in accessing DMTs for people across the country.
What did we do to stop them?
5,190 members of the MS community signed our petition asking the BHSCT to reconsider their plans.
We went to public meetings to raise our concerns, held our own meeting with representatives from all political parties, and spoke in the media about how the plans would affect the MS community.
We also submitted a written response to the BHSCT’s consultation on these proposals.
What’s happening now?
Last Friday, the BHSCT announced that it had dropped the plans to delay access to DMTs.
Unfortunately, many services are still under pressure. In Northern Ireland, waiting times to see consultant neurologists are too long. And across the UK, too many people with MS have to fight for the treatments, care and support they need.
That’s why it’s so important that, together, we continue to speak up for MS.