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10 September 2012

Society of Radiographers calls for funding reform and legislation to support multiple sclerosis sufferers

A motion today (10 September 2012) at the 2012 Trades Union Congress calling on government to provide more social care for sufferers of MS, received overwhelming support from the conference.

The Society of Radiographers highlighted research published earlier this year by the MS Society which found that the number of MS patients presenting to hospital accident and emergency departments has dramatically increased due to the low level of care that these people are receiving in their daily lives.

Around 100,00 people in the UK are affected by multiple sclerosis, a disorder of the brain and spinal cord. Symptoms can include visual problems, muscle spasms, neuroplasmic and musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, depression and paralysis.

In January, the MS Society challenged the Government to deliver a social care system able to provide high quality care and support for people with long-term conditions. It joined more than 60 charities, groups and senior NHS figures to sign an open letter to the prime minister stating that the current system is failing people and calling for more to be done to give people the support they need to live independent lives.

The Society of Radiographers’ motion also called on the TUC to support the recommendations of the Dilnot Commission on funding of care and support, as well as to lobby the government to reform the confusing and contradictory patchwork of social care legislation.

“If we improve the care and support that MS patients receive, it will reduce attendances at NHS hospitals, cutting the costs and strains that many accident and emergency services are currently under,” said Sue Johnson, past president of the Society of Radiographers, who started the debate at the TUC Congress in Brighton.

Simon Gillespie, Chief Executive of the MS Society and Chair of the Care and Support Alliance, said: “The social care system in England is woefully inadequate.  Vast numbers of people now either miss out on basic care, or face enormous bills paying for care that is often of poor quality.

“We are at a critical turning point for our care system and I commend the Society of Radiographers for bringing this motion at this time. Congress’s strong support shows that they are standing with the hundreds of thousands of older and disabled people who are being let down by our crumbling care system. We cannot afford to let the pressure drop now. If the government continues to avoid biting the bullet on this reform, they will be shamefully failing one of the crucial tests of a civilised society.”


Notes for Editor

More information about the MS Society campaign is at Media contact: Dominic Deeson on 01227 469060 or 0795 784 5238.

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