A study by the Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society shows that the number of people diagnosed with the disease in a year has risen to 6,700, from 5,000.
Dr Susan Kohlhaas, Director of Research and External Affairs at the MS Society says: “These new figures confirm what we already suspected – that there are many more people living with MS in the UK than previously thought.”
MS is a disease that damages the body’s nerves and makes it harder for people to manage everyday tasks. It is thought that many of the people diagnosed are struggling to get the help and support they need.
Academics have claimed that the rise in figures are not due to increased risk of the disease, rather an ageing MS population, better diagnostic methods and improved recording of medical data.
“While the NHS is getting better at diagnosing and recording cases of MS, unfortunately in many important ways society is getting worse at supporting people with the condition,” said Dr Susan Kohlhaas. “Compared to just a few years ago, fewer people with MS receive social care support and key welfare payments – and we hear far too many stories of people struggling to stay in work without the adjustments they need.
“MS is relentless, painful and disabling and people with the condition desperately need the Government to step up and create an expanded and sustainable social care system, overhaul the way benefits are assessed, and strengthen rights for employee support.”
Visit the MS Society webpage for more information on how to get help.