We published new research today showing that too often, people with MS can’t get the support they need to stay active and independent. And this has only got worse during lockdown.
Access to physiotherapy and occupational therapy for MS
Thousands of people with MS rely on rehabilitation services, like physiotherapy, occupational therapy or continence support, to do the everyday things many people take for granted. Things like making a cup of tea or just moving around the home safely.
But our new report shows that since lockdown began, 7 in 10 people with MS hadn’t been able to speak to a rehabilitation professional when they needed to.
Of the 1674 people we spoke to, 4 in 10 had appointments cancelled or delayed, either by the healthcare professional or by themselves due to concerns about infection.
Without this support, people with MS are losing their mobility, their confidence and their independence. This is too much to lose, and it can’t wait.
We’re calling for local health leaders to act
That’s why we have launched a new campaign today. Together, we’re calling on local health leaders to do all they can to make sure people with MS get the support they need, during the pandemic and beyond. Ask your local health leaders to sign our pledge
Mary, 68, from the Scottish Borders, was diagnosed with relapsing MS in 1983. She told us about why this campaign is so important to her:
"Most of my MS symptoms are hidden, so people seem surprised when I tell them I have fatigue and vision problems, as well as the constant daily battle with my bladder. This was something I was hoping to have treated before lockdown to stop me having to rush to the loo.
But nearly 12 months on from when I was first referred to a specialist, I’ve only just had an assessment this week. This has a huge impact on my life, as well as hundreds of others.”
Local rehabilitation support for people with MS
Phillip Anderson, our Head of Policy, says: “We’re asking local health leaders to sign our pledge to make sure people with long-term neurological conditions like MS can access the rehabilitation support they need. To prevent the painful and life-limiting effects of MS getting worse as the pandemic continues.”
Everyone with MS should get the support they need, during the pandemic and beyond. Ask your local health leaders to take our pledge now