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Nationwide study aims to prove worth of MS nurses

Nurses at 11 trusts are to take part in a nationwide evaluation to demonstrate the value and impact of specialist services for patients with multiple sclerosis.

In total, 29 MS specialist nurses and allied health professionals will embark on the second phase of the MS Trust’s ground-breaking Generating Evidence in Multiple Sclerosis Services (GEMSS) project.

The first phase, which involved four teams of MS nurses, found some evidence that gathering data to show the difference specialists make had helped secure jobs.

Teams from a cross-section of MS services, including those in rural and urban areas and based in hospitals and the community, were selected to take part in the nationwide roll-out.

All have done training to ensure they have the skills and knowledge needed to collect data about their services.

They will be collecting and analysing data for a full year in 2014-15 and will also survey patients and other health professionals to produce local reports. The findings will be collated in a report on MS specialist nursing in the UK by the MS Trust.

“By participating in GEMSS these teams will be able to effectively monitor, evaluate and improve their services,” said MS Trust chief executive Pam Macfarlane.

“The project will also enable us to gather evidence about the contribution these roles make to patient outcomes, helping us to safeguard these posts for the future.”

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