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MS prevalence figures revised upwards The case for review - MS prevalence figures revised upwards

New research released by the MS Society has for the first time revealed an accurate estimate of the number of people living with a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS) in the UK (1)

Group of peopleThe research revealed that there are around one-hundred thousand people with MS in the UK as a whole, which suggests that there are in the region of nine-thousand people living with MS in the NHS South West area (2).

This upwardly revised figure will have significant implications for commissioners of health and social care services and the MS Society is offering to help. The Society has two full-time service development officers in the South West, a strong network of volunteers and can support service development at all levels. The team is working closely already with commissioners across the region and is keen to provide additional support where required. Direct email contact can be made with the relevent member of the South West service development team by clicking on the appropriate PCT/local authority areas below.

MS prevalence figures

PCT/local authority area General population (3) MS population (2)
Bath & NE Somerset 178300 291
Bournemouth & Poole 301200 492
Bristol Teaching 416400 680
Cornwall & Isles of Scilly 531700 869
Devon 750100 1226
Dorset 406800 665
Gloucester 882600 1442
North Somerset 204700 334
Plymouth 250700 410
Somerset 522800 854
South Gloucestershire 256500 419
Swindon (4) 194500 318
Torbay 134200 219
Wiltshire 452600 740
5483100 8959

(1) National MS prevalence figures
The national prevalence research was undertaken by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). They used data from the General Practice Research Database (GPRD), the world’s largest database of anonymised patient data from primary care, which contains patient records from six-percent of UK GP practices. It is commonly used by academics around the world to study the prevalence of particular conditions. Further information about the research is available on the MS Society's website.

(2) Local MS prevalence figures
Local MS prevalence figures are derived from the same London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine research referred to at (1).

NB Local MS nurse and consultant patient lists may differ where they are drawn from wider, overlapping areas or where there are different geographical boundaries to those used by PCTs/the Office for National Statistics.

(3) General population figures
These figures come from the Office for National Statistics final estimated mid-2007 resident populations for PCTs and are available to view online on the ONS website.

(4) Swindon PCT
Swindon PCT reports to the South West SHA but part of the PCT falls within the South Central SHA

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