Paul Burstow (far right) chats with Bernadette Porter (far left)
During the visit, which coincided with national Multiple Sclerosis Week, he met award-winning MS nurse consultant Bernadette Porter who helped pioneer a scheme to give MS patients more control over their lives.
The scheme, known as NeuroResponse, uses online video technology so patients can ‘meet’ their local health team and their neurologist at the same time online. It also features an email advice service allowing GPs to get fast advice from the consultant neurosurgeon; and an advice line staffed by the hospital’s expert MS nurses so patients can get help and advice at any time. Bernadette received an award for excellence and innovation at the British Journal of Nursing Awards earlier this year.
Mr Burstow said: “We know that, too often, the care and support for people with long-term neurological conditions could be improved. We also recognise the impact that these conditions have on families. Listening today to the views of patients and staff and of the MS Society has been invaluable.
“NeuroResponse is exactly the kind of innovative approach we want to see more of in a more modern, patient-centred NHS. It is a new model of telecare that will help people with MS to improve their quality of life and stay out of hospital. It will also help people living with MS to get timely access to the expertise of specialist clinicians.”
Professor Mike Hanna, clinical director for the NHNN, said: “This was an excellent opportunity to show the Minister the state-of-the-art services we offer neurology and MS patients at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery.”
The NHNN is the UK ’s largest dedicated neurological and neurosurgical hospital. It provides comprehensive services for the diagnoses, treatment and care of all conditions that affect the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nervous system and muscles. Services include specialist neurosurgery, an acute brain injury unit, the National Prion Clinic, a pioneering neuro-rehabilitation unit and the UK ’s first interventional MRI scanner, the largest specialised neurosurgical intensive care unit (ITU) and the only neuro-medical ITU in the country.
This was the second listening event at UCLH in the last three weeks— Health Minister Anne Milton visited UCLH on May 10 for a listening event on NHS modernisation exclusively for doctors and allied health professionals.
Simon Gillespie, chief executive, the MS Society said: “The minister’s visit during MS Week helps ‘put MS on the map’. We want everyone with MS in the UK to receive the standards of service and care offered by the innovative and dedicated MS team at the National Hospital.”
Video of Paul Burstow at the NHNN on the MS Society website