Half of MS patients wait over 20 weeks for diagnosis

MS patients are still missing out on crucial neurological services, despite recommendations from NICE five years ago.

A Royal College of Physicians (RCP) audit of services in the first two months of 2008 has shown that 50 per cent of MS patients wait over 20 weeks from GP referral to diagnosis.

The survey of patients, hospital trusts, PCTs and SHAs used a questionnaire covering the six key recommendations and one quality marker published in the NICE guideline on MS management.

It showed that only 36 per cent of MS patients have access to neurological rehabilitation services, which can reduce the severity of disability associated with the disease.

‘It seems incredible that after five years we are no nearer to commissioning the full range of services that MS patients need and deserve,’ said Professor Ian Gilmore, president of the RCP.


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