By Toby Porter
A disability campaigner with relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS) called on the Government to address the shortages in vital treatment.
Robby Khullar, 51, from Renaissance Walk, Greenwich spoke to MPs and peers about the impact of not being able to access specialist support over the Covid pandemic has had on his health.
Robby was diagnosed with relapsing MS when he was 21.
Seventeen years later his MS became secondary progressive and he now uses a wheelchair.
He said: “Better access to neurology services will put people’s minds at rest, as they won’t feel left alone, as many during the pandemic have felt.
“That’s why I support the MS Society’s Neurology Now campaign as delaying treatment or advice may lead to a worsening of symptoms, some of which will be irreversible.”
Robby joined four other people living with MS to deliver an open letter to the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).
The letter – which was signed by 8,000 people – calls for a plan to restore and improve neurology services in England, and build a thriving, sustainable neurology workforce with investment in training.
He said: “I attended the event as I wanted to add a human face to those living with MS, which is more relatable than reading out statistics.
“I found the MPs I talked to had a genuine interest in what I said. However, other than those who knew people with MS, I was surprised by how many knew little about the condition.
“More awareness is needed to make MPs, as well as the general public, appreciative of what it’s like to live with a neurological condition like MS.”
Dr Sarah Rawlings, executive director of research and external affairs at the MS Society, said: “We’re so grateful to Robby for supporting our Neurology Now campaign.
“Despite one in six people living with a neurological condition in the UK, neurology services have been under-prioritised and stretched for years.
The pandemic has pushed these vital services to breaking point, and the healthcare professionals that deliver them simply can’t continue under such strain.
“We’re calling on UK Governments to provide enough funding to support the development of national plans to restore and improve neurology services, as well as extra funding to recruit and retain neurology professionals.
We need urgent action to make sure Robby and everyone with MS has access to the right professionals and treatment, at the right time, across the UK.”
More details of the MS Society’s campaign, Neurology Now, visit: https://www.mssociety.org.uk/get-involved/campaign-with-us/neurology-now
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