How We Have Adapted During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Staff Update

Staff members of MS Research are now working from home and continue to raise funds to help improve the treatment and lives of those living with MS. The Vassall Centre where MS Research offices are located have been made COVID-safe for when it is necessary for staff members to be in the office.

Research Projects

Most of the research we fund is carried out in University or NHS Departments where the highest levels of expertise and state-of-the-art equipment are available. The COVID-19 pandemic has seriously affected all NHS and academic institutions across the UK. COVID-19 has disrupted many ongoing research projects in all health conditions. Understandably, the NHS has focused on COVID-19 research. We will be encouraging researchers to use their skills to understand the real impact of coronavirus in MS. 

Studies we are funding on MS Related Tremor (Charmed MS) taking place at Southmead Hospital in collaboration with the University of the West of England will resume as soon as the present lock-down restrictions are lifted and when the level of COVID19 is substantially reduced to keep patients and staff safe.

Studies on MS related fatigue will also be resumed as soon as possible and new studies are being reviewed with the intention of starting them as soon as possible. 

Fundraising

Despite our research projects having to be put on hold, MS is still here and we need to continue to fund vitally needed research in the hope of seeing the back MS. We have had some amazing and creative fundraisers throughout the pandemic that have kept donations coming in that are desperately needed at this time. 

The economic difficulties brought on through the coronavirus pandemic are being felt across the UK and the charity sector is no exception, but at MS Research we are committed to investing in research projects that address and alleviate the problems people living with MS face daily.

When we are able to resume we urgently need your help to get our research projects back on track so we can improve MS treatment and work towards finding a cure. Our fundraising campaign can be found here.

Moving FACETs (Fatigue: Applying Cognitive behavioural and Energy effectiveness Techniques to life Style) online.

MS Research has been supporting the FACETS MS fatigue management courses since 2013 and also supports FACETS related research.

The FACETS fatigue management courses are normally run as small groups and are held at the Charity’s MS Meeting Point in Bristol or at other non-medical venues. In March 2020 the FACETS courses had to stop due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the need for fatigue management in MS remained the same and potentially became even greater due to the stress and uncertainty around Covid-19. MS Research therefore facilitated the transfer of FACETS to online delivery. Angela Davies Smith and co-facilitator Olivia Powell made the adjustments required for online delivery and the first two courses started early November 2020. Fourteen people attended across the two groups. Those attending were asked to complete feedback forms and these are currently being evaluated. Based on this feedback some further adaptations may be made before the next online FACETS course starts in February.

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