news and events
If you would like to receive occasional news from SWANO, as well as information about future events, simply click on the button below, which will open up a blank email. There's no need to do anything other than send the email and we will be in touch with news of any forthcoming events. We won't use this information for any other purpose.
Please use this link for news and event information requests only. For all other correspondence please use the links on the contacts page.
Disability & Work Capacity benefits support - useful new app.
People living with a neurological condition who face a benefit-related medical assessment and the prospect of completing complicated forms can, understandably, feel anxious about the implications for them if they get things wrong. A common concern is how best to describe the impact of their condition on daily life, especially where it may fluctuate and not follow an easily-described pattern. Such concerns can increase an individual's anxiety at a time when they really need to ensure that assessors get a clear and accurate impression of their circumstances, without which mistakes and incorrect decisions can be made, leading to further anxiety and, potentially, to reduction or loss of benefits.
seAp, an independent charity specialising in the provision of advocacy and related services, has created two useful web-apps, called C-App. Both are easy to use: one is for ESA and one for PIP, and offer guidance, advice and support on most aspects of the application process. Users can even try the sort of questions that they might be asked by an assessor.
MS Information Day Torquay
The South Devon branch of the MS Society will bring together an impressive and diverse range of MS professionals at its forthcoming MS Information Day in Torquay on Saturday 19th March. The event, taking place between 9.00am and 4.30pm at the seafront's beautiful Victorian and aptly-named Grand Hotel, should prove to be an interesting and informative occasion for anyone living with or with an interest in MS.
For more details, a full programme and speaker biographies please click here.
New consensus on how MS should be treated
As reported in October 2015, a new scientific consensus has been reached that changes the way relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS) should be treated. Evidence now tells us that disease modifying therapies (DMTs) should be offered as close as possible to diagnosis.
A consensus paper published in September 2015 outlines why early treatment is important for people with relapsing forms of MS and what led to this conclusion.
House of Lords vote against cut to ESA WRAG in Welfare Bill
The House of Lords have voted against the Government's proposed cut to Employment Support Allowance (ESA) for new claimants in the Work Related Activity Group (WRAG) during debate on the Welfare and Work Bill.
The Government was defeated by a majority of 85: 283 votes to 198.
Read more on the Disability Benefits Consortium website.
SWANO meetings in 2016
Integrated Personal Commissioning
In collaboration with the SCN we hope to include an IPC update at a forthcoming SWANO meeting. Watch this space for more details.
Project to improve Neurological Rehabilitation Services
The South West Strategic Clinical Network (SCN), is working with health, social care and charities to improve neurological rehabilitation services. They want to involve patients and carers across the South West in order to develop the best possible service. They want to hear about people’s experiences currently and thoughts on what could be done to improve rehabilitation services.
There is ample parking at the venue. If you are arriving by public transport please let Annette McHardy know and help to organise taxis etc. can be provided.
Travel expenses to the event will be refunded. Attendees will be asked to complete a form and the expenses will be credited to them a week or so after the meeting.
During the meeting there will be discussion of the aims of the project and a request for feedback.
If participants are happy to do so there will also be discussion of personal experiences.
This meeting is for patients and carers and the SCN is keen to hear from everyone.
If you are unable to attend or would prefer to be involved only by email and phone please let Anne McHardy know by email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01138247422.
Right Chair, Right Time, Right Now. Urgent: response required
The Wheelchair Leadership Alliance is urging supporters of its Right Chair, Right Time, Right Now campaign to respond to a consultation on the Government's mandate to NHS England to 2020. Though now live, the consultation is only open for comment until 23rd November 2015, so time is very tight.
New consensus on how MS should be treated
A new scientific consensus has been reached that changes the way relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS) should be treated.
The evidence now tells us that, rather than waiting to see whether more relapses occur, disease modifying therapies (DMTs) should be offered as close as possible to diagnosis.
Find out more ... (link to MS Society website)
Can you help? Neurological rehabilitation in the South West Peninsula
The aim of this work:
Who is involved?
How is the work progressing?
Your help is needed
We will be seeking your help in a number of different ways, so if you are interested in being part of this please contact:
South West House
New report by the National Audit Office (NAO)
Commenting on the report, Arlene Wilkie, Chief Executive of the Neurological Alliance, said: “Three years on from the Public Account Committee’s report, it is unacceptable that so little progress has been made in vital areas that were identified as needing urgent improvement. It only adds to the sense that people living with neurological conditions are not seen as a priority within today’s NHS. We need action so that the needs of millions of people with complex conditions must no longer be overlooked.”
Key recommendations that have not been achieved include:
Neurology services continue to suffer from a range of issues including highly variable access to specialist expertise, long waiting times for diagnosis, and poor care planning and coordination, as set out in the Alliance’s Invisible Patients report and the recent acute neurology survey by the Association of British Neurologists. The Neurological Alliance will now write to the PAC calling for a full review of neurology in light of the NAO’s findings.
The Invisible Patients: a new report from the Neurological Alliance
Across the NHS South West, there are estimated to be nearly one million people living with some type of neurological condition. Check out the figures here: