Thursday, 22 December 2016

Let's get quizzical!

Let's get quizzical! 26th Jan at the Himalayan Hotspot, Tilehurst. 

Pit your wits in teams of 4 - 6.

Only £20 per person includes curry and quiz. 

Tickets to be bought in advance by contacting

All profits to BMSTC

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Latest from Martin Salter regarding the campaign to save the Royal Berkshire Hospital Hydrotherapy Pool

Just to let you know that I've obtained the necessary permission from the Council for our planned petition session outside M&S in Broad St from 10am to 2pm on Friday Dec 30th. I'm hoping Alok Sharma MP can join us for a photocall at 10.15am and have copied in Cllr Rachel Eden from RBC and Tony Jones from Unison as it would be great if Health Workers and Local Councillors could come along as well.

The Campaign Banner is designed and with the printers. (Attached)

Merry is going to get out a press release this week inviting the media along so contact her directly if you want to be quoted. Merry has also agreed to draw up a rota of petitioners so please get people to contact her with offers of help by emailing or the Berkshire DPAC email

Please spread the word and lets get a good turnout on the 30th.

Have a good Xmas


Monday, 19 December 2016

Happy Christmas and New Year from all at BMSTC

We would like to extend our warm wishes to you all for a very Happy Christmas and New Year!

The Centre will be closing this Friday 23rd December at 1.00pm and reopening at 9.00am on Tuesday 3rd January.

See you on the other side!

A BIG Thank you to Trinity Concert Band

A huge thank you to the Trinity Concert Band who played at Reading railway station last week helping us to raise a fantastic £1,273.39. 

Well done to all our collectors and thank you to everyone who gave so generously.

Have you ever heard of paroxysmal symptoms?

Source MS Trust:

Paroxysmal is a term that describes the way that some symptoms of multiple sclerosis come on very suddenly, last only a few seconds or minutes and then disappear just as quickly. Sometimes this cycle repeats a few times or, perhaps, many times in a day. Some people call them attacks, clusters, surges, episodes or intermittent symptoms. Your health professionals may call them episodic symptoms.  Read on.

Congratulations to one of our many hidden heroes!

Denise from Asda awarded our lovely Glynis with a special hidden hero pin along with a lovely bunch of flowers and fantastic cake. 

Thank you Glynis, Denise and all our volunteers for all you do for BMSTC

Reading Borough Council Adult Social Care charging and financial review - have your say on their proposals.

The Council is facing extreme financial pressures on all our budgets. As a result we are being forced to make some very tough decisions about the services we provide, including Adult Social Care Services. Read on.

Government to allow council tax increases to fund social care

Source MS Society:

Local councils in England are to be allowed to increase council tax to help raise money for social care, Communities Secretary Sajid Javid confirmed today.

These new proposals could see some local areas increasing council tax by up to 6% over the next two years.

Councils already have the power to increase it by up to 2% every year to pay for care. This is called the ‘social care precept’.  Read on.

Friday, 9 December 2016

Thames Valley Police warn drivers using motorway service stations

Message sent by
Lucy Billen (Police, Media Officer, Thames Valley Police)

Drivers using motorway services stations, particularly those along the M4 in Berkshire, are being warned that thieves could be using technology to prevent people locking their vehicles and then steal from them.
Thames Valley Police officers are warning people to make a manual check that doors are locked before leaving their vehicles.
This advice follows a spate of 14 thefts from vehicles at motorway services in Berkshire. In many of the cases there was no obvious sign of a break in and no damage was caused to the vehicles as items were stolen from them.
Officers are also appealing for anyone who visited the services during the dates outlined below and have any dashcam footage to please get in touch as they may have vital information for the investigations.
At Chieveley Moto Services on M4 at junction 13 between 24 November and 1 December two vans, two lorries and a Mercedes car were entered and items including tools, a suitcase and laptop were taken.
At Reading Moto Services M4 junctions 11-12 between 26 November and 28 November two Range Rovers, a Jaguar, a Mercedes and a Fiat 500 were all accessed by unknown means, ie no obvious sign of a break-in, and various pieces of luggage were stolen from the vehicles.
At Membury Welcome Break M4 at junctions 14 -15 between 24 November and 26 November two Land Rovers, a Mercedes and a Renault were accessed by unknown means. Luggage, wallets and cash were stolen.
Investigating officer, Sgt Alan Hawkett of Newbury Police Station said: “I strongly recommend that any members of the public visiting motorway services stations anywhere in the country keep all valuable items in their possession when away from their vehicle. Offenders may be using technology to prevent your vehicle from locking therefore we would advise a manual check of the doors before leaving your vehicle.
“I am appealing to the public who use in car dash cameras who may have been at any of the above service stations on the above dates and times to contact me. You may have captured an offence or offender on camera. I am extremely keen to review the footage.”
Anyone with any information or dashcam footage relevant to these incidents is asked to call 101 using ref 409 27/11/2016 or email

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Please help to save the Royal Berkshire Hospital Hydrotherapy Pool

A message from our patron Martin Salter:

Dear Colleague

I'm sure you've all heard the awful news about the proposed closure of the hydrotherapy pool at the Royal Berks Hospital. 

Back in 1998 I campaigned with Arthritis Matters, the MS Society and many others to ensure that the new consolidated hospital on the RBH site contained a hydrotherapy facility. We had a pool at Battle Hospital - originally paid for by Friends of Reading Hospitals - but unfortunately no provision for hydrotherapy was made in the relocation plans. We were eventually successful and I was delighted to attend the opening of the brand new pool in 2005. 

As you know hydrotherapy is an invaluable treatment for those suffering from chronic pain conditions and despite what is being claimed the pool is well used and costs very little in terms of subsidy. The letter from Dr Janet Lippett, Care Group Director at the RBH, confirms this as they acknowledge an income of £49,000 against running costs of £60,000. And given that hydrotherapy prevents many patients from having to attend hospital it is clear that closure of the pool would more than likely end up costing the NHS far more than the current administration are looking to save. With a rising elderly population the demand for hydrotherapy is only going to grow which is why it is so short sighted to be suggesting any form of closure.  

I've agreed to come out of retirement to support the campaign to keep the hydrotherapy pool open and have been in touch with my successor Alok Sharma MP who is happy to take up the issue on behalf of us all. Alok is seeking a meeting with the hospital management in the next couple of weeks and is prepared to take a small delegation from the various user groups with him. This is clearly very helpful but Alok needs lots of letters and emails to present to the hospital management backing up our case. So I've agreed to help coordinate this activity which is why I'm writing to you today. 

What needs to happen next

We would everybody to write or email Mary Sherry, Acting Chief Executive and Graham Simm, Chairman of the Royal Berkshire NHS Trust with a copy to Alok Sharma MP



Attached is an excellent letter from the MS Society which makes several important points which you might want to use. However, here a few bullet points that might be helpful to include in your correspondence. 

* I am / my friend or family member / is a sufferer of Arthritis / Multiple Sclerosis /  Fibromyalgia  / Parkinson's / Chronic Back Pain / INSERT OTHER CONDITION and a regular user of the Hydrotherapy Pool at the Royal Berkshire Hospital.

* Hydrotherapy has proved invaluable for me in dealing with my chronic condition and not only brings relief from pain but prevents me from relapsing and having to become reliant on other more expensive NHS services. 

* There is no other public hydrotherapy pool within 30 miles of Reading and should the RBH pool close I will experience even greater levels of pain and my condition could well deteriorate still further. 

* The pool is well used by in patients during the day and by the various charities and groups in the evening including MS Society, Arthritis Care, Fibromyalgia Support Group, Parkinson's Society and others. These groups contribute a substantial sum towards the running costs of the pool. 

* Many of us also pay for our own physiotherapists to work with us in the evenings at the pool. These physiotherapists firmly believe that hydrotherapy is essential in the treatment of conditions such as mine.

* I must ask you to reconsider the decision to close the hydrotherapy pool and to provide me with a full assessment of the impact on patient care, the likely increase in demand on other hospital services and to tell me where else I would be able to receive affordable hydrotherapy treatment which is vital for both my condition and for providing me with some relief from chronic pain?

* Furthermore I must insist that this matter is bought before the Council of Governors at the RBH so that all aspects can be properly and transparently examined. 

* I am sending a copy of this correspondence to Alok Sharma MP 

There a number of potentially supportive Governors at the RBH who you might also like to contact or to copy into your correspondence. The ones that I know include the following but I'm sure there are others. 

The full governors list can be found here:

There may be other points you wish to make so do include anything you think would be helpful but please get writing today and let's build a strong campaign to get this unacceptable decision reversed. Please circulate this information to as many people as possible.

We will be in touch again soon to advise you of further initiatives and a possible press photo call. 

Best Wishes

Martin Salter

Former MP for Reading West and Patron of Berkshire MS Therapy Centre. 

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Collectors needed for Wokingham Street Collection, Thursday 8th December

Help!! Please can anyone help us by collecting at Wokingham Street Collection on Thursday 8th December? If so please can you call Kirsten or Tracy on 0118 9016000 or email
or  Many thanks for your help in advance!

Thank you to all the BMSTC Merry Santas!

Congratulations to everyone who took part in the Roc Search Reading Charity Santa Run  especially the BMSTC Merry Santas! 

Christmas is definitely on its way!

Monday, 5 December 2016

Christmas closing dates

We will be closing the Centre for Christmas on Friday 23rd December at 1.30pm and will reopen at 9am on Tuesday 3rd January.

There will be a limited volunteer led oxygen therapy service in between these dates.

Wednesday 28th December, 4.00pm 16.5' & 6.00pm 33'

Saturday 31st December 10.00am, 33' & 12.00 noon 33'

Please ask at reception or call 0118 9016000 for more information and take an information sheet with further contact details.

Royal Berkshire Hydrotherapy Pool set for closure

Source Reading Chronicle:

UPDATE: Sign a campaign to help save the Hydrotherapy Pool here!

A THERAPEUTIC hospital swimming pool used by multiple sclerosis (MS) and Parkinson's sufferers is to be closed down early next year.

On March 31 the hydrotherapy pool at Royal Berkshire Hospital (RBH) will stop operating, shutting out the hundreds of out-patients who rely on its facilities for low-stress, pain-preventing exercise.  Read on.

Fatigue in MS and what to do about it.

Interesting article from MS Nurse, Miranda.

(Note -   BMSTC offers APS Therapy, Oxygen Therapy and a range of exercise classes such as Yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi and Physio which can help manage fatigue.)

"Fatigue – that horrible overwhelming inability to do another thing, sometimes even to think straight, is one of the most disabling invisible problems of MS. When I took a poll of the top symptoms that people wanted to troubleshoot in a holistic way, Fatigue was top. So here goes:"  Read on.

A great example of a supporting employer

Source MS Society:

"They were so supportive. I took a few days off to digest the news and they told me to come back to work when I was ready. The first thing they did was assure me that my job was safe." We spoke to Chris about MS and the value of having a supportive employer:  Read on