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Date: 23 September 2020

Time: 19:30

Meet the Multiple Sclerosis Team

Consultant neurologists

Consultant neurologists specialise in diagnosing and treating problems related to the nervous system and are experienced in looking after people with MS. Neurologists tend to work closely with the MS nurses and the rest of the multi-disciplinary team.

People with MS from across the west midlands region can be seen by the MS specialist neurologists at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital MS clinics.

Although these consultants do not necessarily see individuals with MS on a regular basis, they do provide specialist care and management as required or requested.

Our MS specialist neurologists are:

  • Dr Gordon Mazibrada
  • Dr John Woolmore

To see one of these neurologists you need a referral from your GP. If you have MS but are unsure who your neurologist is, please ask your GP or MS nurse.

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MS specialist nurses

MS specialist nurses play a major role in providing specialist information and education to all those affected by MS, including the individual, their family or other health and social care professionals and/or voluntary agencies. They coach people to live as healthily as they can and, where possible, reach their goals of self-management. The provision of MS Nurses will vary according to where you live.

There are four MS specialist nurses who run clinics on a daily basis at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. They are able to provide:

  • up-to-date, evidenced-based information regarding MS
  • ongoing support, including symptom management
  • advice on MS drug administration and monitoring

Our MS specialist nurses are:

  • Sam Colhoun (full-time)
  • Sharon Letissier (full-time)
  • Sally Thompson (full-time)
  • Nicki Ward-Abel (part-time)

They are able to see people with MS who live in south, east and north Birmingham.

MS specialist nurses: 0121 371 5799

If you live outside these areas or are still unsure who your MS Nurse is, please ask your GP or neurologist, or use the map of specialist MS centres (see "External links" below).

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Physiotherapists

Neuro-physiotherapists at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital are able to assess movement, mobility and balance and can provide specialist advice, and tailor specific exercise/management programmes to improve the quality of movement in daily activities and general health.

Physiotherapists can also provide advice on and supply walking aids such as:

  • frames
  • walking sticks
  • foot splints

Physiotherapy can be beneficial if you are experiencing a relapse or have new symptoms which are affecting day-to-day activities, mobility and independence.

The Physiotherapy Team also runs events, including a specialist MS exercise class and a tai chi class, and there is a community exercise class for those who live in South Birmingham.

To access a neuro-physiotherapist, you will need to be referred by your GP, MS nurse or consultant. We accept referrals for the outpatient neuro-physiotherapy service at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital from anywhere within the west midlands area.

To find out more about the neuro-physiotherapy team, please telephone 0121 371 3489.

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Occupational therapists

Occupational therapists can work with you to look at how your independence and abilities can be maximised. This might include:

  • provision of equipment
  • discussion about other ways of doing things
  • wheelchair assessment
  • referral to a rehabilitation service
  • assessment for splints or referral to alternate services

They are also very experienced at finding new ways for you to do things by working round any problems you may have as a result of your MS.

We employ specialist occupational therapists who deal with the care and treatment of those with MS. They will work with you to explore how your condition impacts on how you manage the activities you need to do in your daily life. Some are able to  provide valuable advice on how to manage fatigue.

You will need to be referred to the occupational therapy service at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital by your MS nurse, consultant or GP.

For more information about this service, please telephone 0121 371 3428.

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Dieticians

Dieticians offer nutritional advice about appetite, eating difficulties, weight loss and weight gain, to ensure people receive optimum nutrition. They will help individuals with MS meet their nutritional requirements safely via oral intake, with the addition of suitable oral supplements or via artificial feeding if required.

If you attend the Queen Elizabeth Hospital for your treatment, you can have access to our neuro-dietician. You will need to be referred by your consultant, GP or MS specialist nurse.

Our dieticians are not able to carry out home visits. If you require a home visit, please ask your consultant or GP to refer you to your local Community Dietician Team.

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Specialist continence nurses

Specialist continence nurses work specifically with people with a variety of bladder problems (you do not have to be incontinent to see the continence nurse). They have a lot of experience of working with people with MS and work closely with the district nurses. Please speak to the MS nursing team for further information.

If you live outside Birmingham and would like access to your local continence team, please visit the online Continence Clinic Directory (see "External links" below) or call the Continence Nurse Helpline.

Telephone: 0845 345 0165

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Speech and language therapists

Speech and language therapists (SLTs) are involved in helping people with difficulties in communicating or swallowing.

Communication changes that can occur in people with MS include:

  • voice becoming quieter
  • talking becoming more difficult

Some people also find that they sometimes cough while eating or drinking, or that food sticks in their throat. SLTs can give advice and exercises that will improve communication and/or swallowing.

You can be referred to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital SLT service by your GP, neurologist or MS nurse. If you live outside the Birmingham area or are still unsure who your SLT is, please ask your GP or neurologist, or use the map of specialist MS centres (see "External links" below).

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