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01st May 2014


The Mid Essex Hospital NHS Trust’s specialist nursing team to play a key role in national evaluation programme run by the MS Trust

The multiple sclerosis (MS) nursing team at Mid Essex Hospital NHS Trust has been selected to take part in a nationwide evaluation scheme to assess the value and impact that MS specialist services deliver to the NHS.

Phase II of the MS Trust’s Generating Evidence in Multiple Sclerosis Services (GEMSS) project will involve eleven teams representing a cross-section of MS services, rural and urban, large and small, community and hospital based. In total, there will be 29 MS nurses and six Allied Health Professionals participating in Phase II.


The team recently participated in a two-day training programme to help them develop the skills and knowledge needed to collect data about their services which will be used to evaluate and improve what they do. They will now undertake a full year of data collection (2014-15) and analysis with ongoing support from the MS Trust. In addition, they will conduct surveys of people with MS using their service as well as other health professionals in their area. At the end of Phase II, they will produce local reports and the MS Trust will publish a combined evaluation report on MS specialist services in the UK.


Phase I of the project, which has now been completed, saw four teams of MS nurses from across the UK evaluate their services over the course of a year, with each team submitting a report on their service for 2012-13 to key local management and commissioners.


Julie Webster, Clinical Nurse Specialist Multiple Sclerosis, said: "We are very pleased to be taking part in such an important project. It will be of great benefit to have the tools to evaluate and develop our current service.  As MS nurses we are committed to taking our service forward.  We hope by taking part in GEMSS we can gain a clear view of the strengths and weaknesses of the current MS nurse service enabling us to work on providing an improved and equal service to all people with MS in the Mid Essex Area in both the hospital and community.  We are very lucky to be supported by the MS Trust and their provision of excellent experienced facilitators. “


Pam Macfarlane, chief executive, MS Trust said: “We are looking forward to working with the eleven teams selected for this second Phase of the GEMSS project. We know how important specialist practitioners are to people with MS; they help them enormously in negotiating the many and complex challenges which MS can present. By participating in GEMSS the Mid Essex Hospital NHS Trust team will be able to effectively monitor, evaluate and improve their services. The project will also enable us to gather evidence about the contribution which these roles make to patient outcomes, helping us to safeguard these posts for the future.”



Note to editors

About the MS Trust

The MS Trust is a national charity which works to make life better today for people with MS. We offer a personalised information service to help people better understand their MS and we support specialist services in the UK. We educate the health and social care professionals who work with MS, identify gaps in MS services and campaign to ensure resources are in place.

Further information about the GEMSS programme is available on the MS Trust website at www.mstrust.org.uk/gemss

You can also contact: Jo Sopala, MS Trust, on 01462 476707 or email jo.sopala@mstrust.org.uk or Julian Tyndale-Biscoe on 07882 985597