Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Do you want to improve the quality of your life?

This September NHS Berkshire West is running another popular Expert Patient Course for anyone who has a long-term medical condition and who would like to develop ways of managing their illness more positively in order to improve their quality of life.
The Expert Patient Programme builds on the principal that people with long-term health problems already know best how their condition affects the way they feel, their lifestyle and their ability to accomplish activities important to them.  So the course explores ways to positively manage their symptoms, to improve on daily activities and manage the changing emotions that can be brought about by a chronic condition.
The course is open to anyone with a long term condition such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, COPD, coronary heart disease, arthritis or any long term condition. If you feel the time is right to learn new life skills to help you cope better in your day to day living and gain confidence in managing your condition then this course is for you.

The course is free and runs for six weeks from Thursday 8th September until Thursday 13th October. Each weekly session lasts for two and half hours, running from 2.00 pm to 4.30pm.  This course will take place at Reading’s International Solidarity Centre (RISC), 35-39 London Street, Reading, UK, RG1 4PS.
The Expert Patient Programme has been running in Berkshire West for a number of years by people who have personal experience of long term medical conditions and understand the challenges participants face in having health problems and in coming on the course.
Weekly sessions cover topics such as managing symptoms, relaxation techniques, diet and exercise, how to communicate effectively with health care practitioners and how to deal with some of the difficult emotions of fear and frustration. The atmosphere is very informal and supportive which enables people to relax and get to know each other.  The venues are checked to ensure they are accessible for wheelchair use.  Family carers of those on the course are welcome to link up with the course tutors, although they will not attend the sessions themselves
Lesley Wyman, Senior Public Health Specialist at NHS Berkshire West, said: ‘Our tutors have all attended the course in the past so they have the experience and knowledge to really make a difference to your life. The course does not contain any clinical content, but is designed to help people to learn new skills, gain confidence and knowledge to help them manage and live with their condition.  We really hope you will think about getting involved with the Expert Patient Programme and attending this course.
There are 15 places available on the September course so if you are interested in joining the course you need to apply before Thursday 18th August to Lesley Wyman on 0118 982 2885, email:
To view a video about NHS Berkshire West’s Expert Patient Programme please visit: 

Monday, 27 June 2011

BBC News - Today - MS breakthrough 'a cause for optimism'

Source:  The BBC:

Scientists believe they may have made a medical breakthrough by finding a missing link in the treatment of multiple sclerosis.
Robin Franklin, professor of neuroscience at Cambridge University, lays out the findings.

Listen to this breaking news story here.

Top Tips for staying cool from the MS Trust

Source: MS Trust

The summer months can be difficult for many people with MS who find their symptoms are worsened by heat. Cooling oneself down before, during or after activity can help to reduce the effects of heat and the problems that it can cause. Cooling techniques can range from cheap and simple ideas to more expensive equipment items. The following are a few suggestions.   Read more here!

Will Davies Goldeneye 750ft bungee jump

This man is crazy!!  Check out this video of the 750ft bungee jumo that Will is doing to raised money for BMSTC.

Watch video here!

Then if you're impressed please sponsor him on his Just Giving Page

Good luck Will - rather you than me!!! :0)

Government announces its proposed changes to the NHS reorganisation

Source: The MS Trust:

The government has announced how it intends to adopt the proposals made by the NHS Future Forum.  

For more click here.

Boars Bridge Festival raises £2,500!

We would like to say a very big thank you to the organisers of this years Boars Bridge Festival!  In particular Lynne Whiteland and Mike Baker who hosted a wonderful event again this year! 

Numbers were up on last year, and everyone thoroughly enjoyed the event!  We are delighted to announce that a cheque for £2,500 will be presented to BMSTC at the Windmill Acoustic Music Club in Ewshot on the evening of Thursday 7th July.  Thanks once again to everyone who came along to support and help at the event this year:0)

MS patients' careers cut short due to lack of support and awareness

Source The MS Trust:

If UK employer awareness about multiple sclerosis (MS) were improved, and more coordinated action were put into practice, most patients with MS who want to and are able to work would continue doing so.
Not only would this improve their quality of life and independence, but it would also reduce the country's MS-related welfare bill, which currently stands at £66.7m - MS patients on average miss out on 18 years of their working lives.   For more click here.

There's an App for that!

Source MDT Medical Design Techonology:

Multiple Sclerosis Association of America Launches Mobile Phone App for the Multiple Sclerosis Community

For more click here.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

From Reading Borough Council Local Strategic Partnership

Local Strategic Partnership for Reading Customer Focus Group

The Reading Local Strategic Partnership brings together organisations, groups and individuals from all sectors - public, private, voluntary, community and faith - to work in partnership for the benefit of all our residents.

One of our priorities is Capable Communities, and the area we are starting to work on is outlined in the box below.

We want your help and views so we are setting up a Customer Focus Group with local residents; people who get care and support, and people who may need help in the future because areas of their life are difficult to manage. There are many organisations and services that offer help to people with their daily life in Reading - from small local clubs to statutory services like social care and the NHS. We want to find out how and where you go for help, and how easy (or not) it is to find the help you need - whether it is from the council or other local organisations. The Focus Group is on Monday 11th July 2011, 2.30pm – 4.30pm at the Kennet Room, Civic Centre, RG1 7AE.

• The focus group session will help to identify the different stages that our residents go through when they need to get help or information.
• The session will be interactive and will involve residents sharing their experiences as a customer receiving a service.
• We’ll be mapping out the ‘paths’ residents take to find help and whether these are efficient or not from a customer’s perspective, so that members of the LSP can make changes to improve these.
• We’ll use this information to see where we can avoid delays and duplication and make accessing services easier for residents in the future.
The civic centre is fully accessible and we may be able to help if you have any special needs to enable you to participate. Refreshments will be provided
If you would like to be part of this group and have the opportunity to contribute to shaping the future of Reading, please book your place by Friday 1st July:

Post: Nina Crispin, Level 6, Civic Centre, Reading RG1 7AE
Phone: 0118 937 2383

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Ladies Pamper Evening at BMSTC - Wednesday 22nd June 7 - 10pm

Curves of Reading West will be holding a Ladies Pamper Evening here at the Berkshire MS Therapy Centre on Wednesday 22nd June between 7.00 to 10.00 pm.
Many treatments and beauty products available.  Entry fee £3.50 or £3.00 for Curves Members which includes a free drink!

All proceeds go to BMSTC :0)

For more information please see our website click here!

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Just over a week to go for Boars Bridge Festival!

Just over a week to go for Boars Bridge Festvial on the 18th & 19th June! The marquee is going up this weekend! Don't forget you need to purchase tickets in advance, £10 per person which includes entry both days. Lynne, the organiser, is away until 12th June but you can get your tickets from at BMSTC in the meantime :0) 

For more information see

Interferon at first sign of MS delays progression [CMSC]

Source: MS Trust:
Starting interferon-beta-1a (Rebif New Formulation) immediately upon an episode of a clinically isolated syndrome delayed progression to full-blown multiple sclerosis, but once-weekly treatment was less effective than the standard dosing interval, a researcher said here.  For more click here.

Neurology care 'is lacking' for UK patients

Source: The BBC
Services for neurological conditions are poorly organised and do not meet patients' needs, says a report.

The Royal College of Physicians and the Association of British Neurologists say many patients with conditions like epilepsy or Parkinson's disease are unable to access specialist care
For more click here.

Local Giving.Com

There is a website called that aims to help local charities, like the MS Centre to get funding. Anyone wanting to give us a donation can simply log onto the website and key in Berkshire MS Therapy Centre and make a donation

Congratulations to BMSTC Trustee, Nick Dyer, for completing the 3 Counties Cylce Ride!

Congratulations to Nick Dyer, BMSTC Trustee who completed the 3 Counties 50 mile Cylce Ride at the weekend in 4 hours and 30 minutes! 

If you would like to offer your support and sponsor Nick please visit :0)

Thank you to the Berkshire Community Foundation!

We want to thank the Berkshire Community Foundation for giving us a grant of £4,100 to cover the cost of counselling for six months. This was made possible by a generous donation from Foster Wheeler.

MS sufferers to pool stem cell therapy data

Source: The Australian:

A NATIONAL register of multiple sclerosis patients undergoing stem cell therapy will allow researchers to quickly home in on the most effective treatments.
The register, based in Perth and run by Multiple Sclerosis Research Australia, will provide data on the different techniques used and what the outcomes were.  For more click here.

Disabled Production Trainee Scheme

Source: Channel 4
Production Trainee Scheme 2011-2012 for disabled talent
Are you disabled?  Do you believe you are talented?  It’s a win-win!

Ever thought a career in TV would be too tough because you’re disabled? Well for this entry-level scheme it’s a positive advantage – we’re looking for creative, ambitious, telly-mad disabled people.  For more click here.

Friday, 3 June 2011

MS Zumba Class!

Would you be interested in a Zumba Class at BMSTC? We're meeting up with an instructor next week to see if we can develop an MS Zumba Class! This will either run on a Tuesday evening 6pm -7pm, or a Saturday morning from 9.30 - 10.30am. If you are interested please email
 with your preferred time!  For more information on Zumba click here!

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

MS stem cell trial gets $1m grant

Source:  The BBC
(Great news for Professor Neil Scolding)

Doctors in Bristol are to carry out a trial using stem cells on 80 multiple sclerosis (MS) patients following a $1m (£610k) donation.

People selected will have their bone marrow harvested which is then filtered before being injected into their blood.

Trials on a smaller group of people last year found it increased nerve function by up to 20%.

The research is taking place at the Burden Neurological Institute based at Bristol's Frenchay Hospital.
For more click here.

Swansea University plot multiple sclerosis map

Source: The BBC

Researchers at Swansea University are trying to map out the number of people in Britain who suffer from multiple sclerosis.

It is thought around 100,000 people in the UK have MS - but the real number could be higher, with diagnosis often difficult.

The condition affects the nervous system and can leave a patient unable to walk.

Health correspondent, Hywel Griffith, reports.  For more click here.

Helen Ley centre is on verge of being saved by new deal

Source: Kenilworth Weekly News:

Source Helen Ley Care Centre could soon have a new owner ending 12 months of uncertainty over the future of the respite home.

MS Respite and Care Services Limited has signed ‘heads of terms’ with current owner the MS Society, paving the way for negotiations to take place over the transfer of the centre.  For more click here.

Physiotherapy is best way for me to tackle my MS

Source: North Wales Weekly News:

A MULTIPLE sclerosis sufferer says that physiotherapy is her best defence against the condition, rather than medication.

In this, Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Week, sufferer Rosemarie Lester, 47, of Gogarth Road, Llandudno, says she is still able to lead a full and active life.  For more click here.

Skin cells 'turned into neurons' by US scientists

Source: The BBC

A Californian team say they have managed to convert human skin cells directly into functioning brain cells.

The scientists manipulated the process by which DNA is transcribed within foetal skin cells to create cells which behaved like neurons.  For more click here.

FES back on right footing

Source: The MS Trust:

The MS Trust understands that a decision to restrict funding for FES (functional electrical stimulation) in the East Midlands has been put on hold.
The East Midlands Specialised Commissioning Group, which manages funding decisions for nine PCTs, had proposed withdrawing funding for FES at the end of 2010. The MS Trust responded to this decision, pointing out the wider health implications for someone using FES and how failure to fund treatment would be detrimental to people with MS.  For more click here.

MS patients denied licensed cannabis drug by NHS

Cannabis plants for medicinal purposes
Source:  The Guardian

The NHS has been criticised by doctors for denying multiple sclerosis patients access to a drug derived from cannabis which regulators have approved to help relieve their symptoms.
To read more click here.

Do you have anything for the raffle at Boars Bridge Festival

We are collecting items for the raffle for this years Boars Bridge Festival, if you have anything that you would like to donate please bring your item into the Centre and ask for Pippa or email

Tickets are selling fast for this little acoustic music festival on the 18th & 19th June.  Entry is by tickets purchased in advance only, £10 per person which includes entry both days.  For more details please see or email

Summer Fayre Success!

Thank you to everyone who volunteered or came along to support the Summer Fayre on Saturday.

Particular thanks go to the BMSTC Link group who put so much effort into organising the event and Paul Daniels and Debbie McGee for officially opening the Fayre. Total raised was a huge £1,905.47p

There should be some coverage in both the Reading Post and Chronicle very soon :0)