It’s a disgrace to hand notice to nurse treating multiple sclerosis patients, says Redbridge MS Society

“A disgrace” is the conclusion of a charity chairman after a specialist nurse treating about 500 patients with multiple sclerosis was handed her notice.

Dr John Jestico, chairman of the Redbridge branch of Multiple Sclerosis Society UK, helped raise £30,000 for a specialist nurse 10 years ago to create the position.

This was done in agreement with Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRUT), which said if they raised the money a specialist nurse would be taken on permanently, according to Dr Jestico.

The nurse made home visits and went to the Marjorie Collins Multiple Sclerosis Day Centre, Grove Road, Chadwell Heath.

Dr Jestico said: “The patients are up in arms about this. We think we have been let down and the health authorities have reneged on their promise after we raised all this money in the first place.”

The project to raise the money for the nurse was adopted by then Mayor of Redbridge Cllr Alan Weinberg.

Dr Jestico said: “More than 10 years ago the local people of Redbridge raised £30,000. Without this nurse our patients will suffer as they won’t be able to get any specialist services. It’s a disgrace.”

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The nurse acted as a link between the patients and doctor as well as helping with medication and giving specialist support.

“It’s a huge job and she’s specially trained,” Dr Jestico added. “Multiple Sclerosis is the biggest cause of disability in the young.”

Denise Hatton, of Cranbourne Gardens, Barkingside has suffered from MS for about 40 years and said the availability of the specialist nurses had been “invaluable”.

Mrs Hatton said: “It’s such an invaluable service. I think it’s shocking. Cuts need to be made, but they are making them in the wrong places. There aren’t many facilities for us.”

Mike Gill, medical director of the trust, said: “A careful review and consultation process discovered that the clinics run by our MS nurses have a particularly high rate of non-attendance by patients, and it was decided that the care could be provided differently.”

“We are very grateful for the financial support given to the trust by the Redbridge MS Society 12 years ago.”