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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

UK News: Multiple sclerosis: Charity warns of 'postcode lottery' in services


April 30, 2013

Around 4,000 people in Wales have MS, an inflammatory disease of the central nervous system


Services for people in Wales with multiple sclerosis (MS) are a "postcode lottery", a leading charity has warned.
The MS Society Cymru says less than 60% of people in mid and west Wales can access a neurologist when needed.
North Wales was better served with at least 90% of people having access, and at least 70% in south east Wales.
The charity urged ministers to ensure everyone with MS had the care and support needed. The Welsh government said progress was being made.
The report, being launched in the Welsh assembly on Tuesday, is based on the largest ever survey of people with MS in Wales.


It is a neurological condition which can cause fatigue, vision problems and difficulties with walking for those who have it.
As well as the varying pattern of services available, the study also found that just a third of people who said they needed support finding or keeping a job could get the help they needed and that there were "far longer" waiting lists for wheelchairs in north Wales than south Wales.
A father and son from different parts of the country have highlighted the varying levels of support available.
Ieuan Evans, 70, from Cardigan, was diagnosed with MS 20 years ago.
He has seen a neurologist just once in that time and his nearest MS nurse is based in Morriston Hospital, Swansea, more than 50 miles away.
He said: "Accessing specialists is frustrating for people with MS in my part of Wales - as I don't drive it is very difficult.
"My son lives in Cardiff where services are far easier to access.

Evans' son Aled has lived with MS for thirteen years and finds it upsetting that he receives so much more care than his father.
"Wherever you live in Wales you should have the same treatment."

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