Monday, 27 October 2008

MS Therapy Centres No Longer Regulated by Healthcare Commission

As of the 1st October 2008, the MS Therapy Centres will no longer be regulated by the Healthcare Commission for the provision of Oxygen Therapy. Thank you to all of those who have campaigned to remove this legislative burden on the Centres by writing to local MP's.

MS Therapy Centres will no longer need to pay the annual registration fee and complete the annual self-assessment or be subject to inspections. This will reduce the administrative and financial burden on the MS Therapy Centres who will conduct self-regulation through the National Association of MS Therapy Centres.

Therapy Centres have improved their services as a result of regulation by the Healthcare Commission, these standards of service will continue to be appropriately maintained and developed.

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Leukaemia drug halts, reverses MS symptoms

By Alice Ritchie in Cambridge
October 23, 2008 01:57pm
Article from: Agence France-Presse

BRITISH researchers say they have found that a drug, originally developed to treat leukaemia, can halt and even reverse the debilitating effects of multiple sclerosis (MS).,23599,24540679-36398,00.html
See also:

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

The Outside Clinic Community Opticians

If you have diffictulty getting out to your optician - you maybe interested in the services of the Outside Clinic Community Opticians who bring optical services to you in the comfort of your own home. Free NHS sight tests are available to peope who meet the specified criteria.

See for more details.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

I Want to Ride My Bicycle.......!

Article by one of our members who uses the Pathway Exercise Referral Scheme at Palmer Park.

"The wind is whistling through my hair (OK, there’s a mild ruffling), and I haven’t yet crashed into anyone else with my random veering off to the right…What am I doing? Well, I’ve started riding a tricycle and triking my way around the cycle track at Palmer Park in East Reading.

It’s an ideal form of gentle exercise as you can go completely at your own pace, and if your balance is a bit off, like mine, the three wheels will keep you upright. It takes a little getting used to, and I wouldn’t advise trying to go round the banked course (!), but it gets you out in the fresh air and gives a real sense of achievement as you can build up the number of laps you do. I used to like walking, but since I can’t walk very far anymore, this is an ideal alternative.

On my first outing, just getting into the seat and sitting upright was a challenge, as I have rather weak core stability and my muscles were shaking uncontrollably, but as I relaxed and got my bearings, that improved. The next challenge was cycling in a straight line. I still veer off to the right at times (something to do with my coordination? Who knows?), but even that’s getting better with practice. The way I’m tackling it, is to do two or three laps, then rest, then start again until I feel I’ve had enough. I really enjoy it, and am hoping to build up the number of quarter of a mile laps I do each week.

The ‘Cycling for Health’ scheme is run by a partnership between Reading Borough Council and the CTC (the UK national cyclists’ organisation), and is supported by the Pathway Exercise Referral Scheme. In my case, my GP completed a Pathway Referral form for me and I took it along with me to my first session. The session is always supervised (I got lots of help the first time I went), and friendly assistance is always on hand from Helen Biggerstaff, CTC Community Cycling Development Officer, or Binders Roszcyk, a Pathway Exercise Referral Instructor.

There is currently a session at Palmer Park on Friday mornings from 10.30am to noon, but they are planning to introduce an additional session on Monday afternoons from 3pm. It costs £2.40 per session, though you are not expected to stay the whole time – you just do what you can. Both bicycles and tricycles can be borrowed when you get there.

To find out more, call Helen Biggerstaff at Reading Borough Council on 0118 901 5713.

Happy tricycling!"

Monday, 13 October 2008

A note from the BMSTC Link Group -Christmas Fayre 15th November

15 November 2008, 1 - 3pm

Once again the Link Group is organising the annual Christmas Fayre and we are writing to you as members of the Centre to ask for your support with this event. The Link Group work hard during the year arranging various events to raise money for the Centre and would very much like more members to become involved.

Please support our efforts by donating any of the following:
A prize for the raffle or tombola. Any new, unused, items would be very welcome.

Soft Toys which can be used as prizes.

Toys for the Lucky Dip and presents from Santa.

Wine for prizes in the Wine Raffle

Cakes to serve with tea and coffee on the day and for people to buy and take home.

Bric-a-Brac Stall Items to sell

If you have none of the above, a £1 donation would be appreciated. Please give this to Tracy or Jackie and ask them to pass it on to a member of the Link Group.

There is a labelled plastic dustbin in the reception area at the Centre into which donated items can be placed. Wine should be given direct to Trish Wright or handed to Tracy or Jackie who will pass it on to her. Cakes should be brought along on the day, or a day or two before.

Other ways you can help
Are you or any of your family and friends available to help on the day? We need able-bodied people to help set up the tables, They would need to arrive at 9 am and help for a couple of hours . Also help is needed at the end of the day (dismantling tables and clearing up) from about 3pm to 5pm. If you or anyone you know could help with this (or in any other way)there will be a volunteers' form at the Centre for you to complete or please phone the Centre.

Please come along on the day with your friends and family. You will find lots of stalls with all sorts of things to buy and delicious cakes to eat in or take away. Tea, coffee and cold drinks will also be available. For the children there will be a lucky dip and, of course,Santa will be there too!

Many thanks.

Sue Smith
Secretary BMSTC Members' Link Group

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Walking for MileS 2008 - or was it Swimming?!

On Sunday 5th October the Berkshire MS Therapy Centre held its annual Walking for MileS Event at Beale Park. There were three walks altogether, the first being a Half Marathon, the second was a seven mile walk along the Thames and around Basildon Park and the third was 1.5 miles inside Beale Park that was particularly suitable for the members of the centre who are confined to wheelchairs.

Despite the elements conspiring against the day with heavy rain starting the night before and continuing throughout the day, 200 turned up to do there bit for their local MS Therapy Centre. As the very damp entrants returned from their individual challenge they were met with smiling faces and goody bags given to them by Digger, the London Irish Mascot. The members of the Berkshire MS Therapy Centre are delighted to have been chosen as the club charity for London Irish this season and will be enjoying further visits from Digger as well as support from the club and their players.

The Centre relies entirely on donations and grants to exist and receives no help from the NHS or Central Government. If you would like to know more about the Centre or know someone who would benefit from the support they give, please call 0118 901 6000 or log onto

Thursday, 2 October 2008

London Irish Choose BMSTC as their Club Charity!

Excerpt from London Irish Website...!.html
We also welcomed members of our chosen local charity the Berkshire MS Therapy Centre onto the pitch for a photo with London Irish players Warren Fury and Tom Parker. The charity works hard to improve the quality of life of people affected by MS in Berkshire and provides beneficial therapies, information and practical support to people with MS, their families and carers. Throughout the year we will be supporting various events, the first being their 'Walking for MileS' which takes place at Beale Park on Sunday 5th October. For additional information about the charity please visit