MS Week – come and find out more about new facilities at Frenchay

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Information on the brand new facilities for patients with multiple sclerosis at Frenchay Hospital will be on show next week as part of the national Multiple Sclerosis Week (April 27-May 3).
Displays giving details on the new BrAMS (Bristol Area Multiple Sclerosis) patient centre and the pioneering stem cell research being carried out at Frenchay’s recently refurbished laboratories will be held at:
- The Mall (formerly The Galleries), Union Street, Bristol on Monday, April 27 and Tuesday, April 28
- The Willow Brook Shopping Centre in Bradley Stoke on Wednesday, April 29, Thursday, April 30 and Friday, May 1.
The patient centre and the recently opened Burden laboratories are the result of a £250,000 appeal and mean that pioneering research including stem cell research can be accelerated and MS sufferers will receive a specialist, dedicated service.
An additional £80,000 is now being raised to enable the centre to employ several key members of staff and collections will be in place at each of the displays – so please give generously.
The new patient centre has been refurbished from the previous MS laboratories and is situated near the laboratories at Frenchay. The new facility is the first of its kind and delivers a quality, dedicated, multidisciplinary service that includes treatment and social care to patients with multiple sclerosis.
The new centre will place Frenchay Hospital in an ideal position to rapidly implement exciting new prospective MS therapies over the coming years. In addition to allowing patients the possibility of contributing to the clinical research required for these much needed therapies.
Both laboratories and the clinical centre will help accelerate the on-going research programmes and specifically investigate the use of stem cells as treatment, as well as defining other potential therapies for both the relapsing and the progressive phases of the disease. This will also allow for increased involvement in international clinical trials.
Through the centre, MS sufferers have rapid access to relapse clinics and treatments as well as specialist MS nurse intervention. This includes a dedicated site for day-case intravenous infusions of medications and botulinum toxin injections in the future.
Shaun McCarthy, BrAMS Fundraising Manager, along with his wife Alison, raised the £250,000 needed to refurbish the patient centre and laboratories.
He said: “As someone who has MS, I am so pleased to have been able to open this much needed centre and I’d like to say a big thank you to all that help us achieve this.
“We now need to continue to raise funds for a dedicated MS physiotherapist, a neuropsychologist and full time research manager to help manage the ongoing clinical trials.

“The BrAMS Centre is a real centre of excellence, thought to be one of a kind. If you, or someone you know, suffers from MS, please come and see us at The Mall (Galleries) or The Willow Brook Shopping Centre.”
MS is usually diagnosed in the young. Children, young adults and people up to the age of 50 can be diagnosed with the disease and although there are now better treatments, there is no cure.
MS causes damage to the central nervous system and so can affect arm, leg, head movement, can cause tremor, problems with eyesight, balance and can bring fatigue, which can be an overwhelming tiredness and weakness, of course affecting day to day activities.
For more information, please email or call Shaun on Tel: 0117 340 2992, 0778 447 0177, e-mail shaun.mccarthy@brams.org.uk