Social care and the MS community in England: care and support analysis of the 2016 My MS My Needs Survey

Document type
Wallace, Laura; Cavander-Attwood, Fredi; Redfern-Tofts, Diane
Multiple Sclerosis Society
Date of publication
21 March 2017
Disabled people, Social Work, Social Care and Social Services, Children and Young People, Older Adults
Social welfare
Material type

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This report looks at what social care is and who provides it. It uses information from a survey of 11,024 people across the UK with MS between February and April 2016, making this the largest collection of patient-reported data from the UK MS community to date.

In 2016, 75% of respondents completed a paper-based survey, sent out to MS Society members, and 25% completed the survey through an email link, via the MS Register and Shift MS. Because of age and gender bias in the sample, the data has been weighted to be representative of the UK MS population.

Key findings:

  • A smaller proportion of people are getting the care and support they need, compared to 2013. A third of people in 2016 reported they are not receiving enough or any support.
  • Demand for support has increased by over a fifth, from 35% to 57%, since 2013.
  • Almost a third of those people (32% in 2016) with the highest needs – who need support with getting dressed, washed and eating etc – are not getting the support they need.
  • Younger people with MS are less likely to be getting the support they need than older people. Only 32% of those aged 18-29 said that they have all of their needs met, which means too many are struggling with everyday tasks from getting dressed to shopping and cooking.

The MS Society believe that the government must commit to a long-term, sustainable funding settlement for social care in this parliament.

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