140,633 People in the UK live with Multiple Sclerosis. Bladder issues are one of the most common and distressing symptoms for People with Multiple Sclerosis (PwMS): 1 in 10 people have bladder issues at diagnosis and nearly all people are affected after 10 years. Bladder dysfunction has a wide-ranging negative impact on patient's quality of life, including: Depression, anxiety & physical health; Reduced ability to move or exercise; Fear of travel or social occasions leading to isolation; Sleep disruption and fatigue; Physical intimacy and relationships. Lower urinary tract (LUT) dysfunction is also a significant contributor to emergency hospital admissions in PwMS, with considerable costs to the NHS. Urinary tract infections: 9.5% of emergency MS admissions; £2,916 per admission. Bladder and bowel related emergency admissions: £9.8m total cost; £2,738 per admission. The statistics cited above, and the personal testimony of many PwMS, indicate this issue is often overlooked. To address this, a multidisciplinary group of MS health professionals updated clinical guidance.

The consensus panel

Sue Thomas, Independent Healthcare Consultant

MS specialists
Joan Bradley, Lead Nurse, MS and Rehabilitation, The Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Ruth Stross, Multiple Sclerosis Specialist Nurse, Surrey Downs Health and Care, Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust
Jane Young, Nurse Consultant, Bladder and Bowel Service, Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust

Ian Pomeroy, Consultant Neurologist, The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust, Liverpool
Agne Straukiene, Honorary Consultant Neurologist, Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust

Patient representatives/advocates
Trishna Bharadia, Health Advocate and Patient Engagement Consultant, The Spark Global; MS Patient Advocate
Mark Webb, Disability and Diversity Campaigner and Head of Communications, Shift.ms

Continence specialist
Ann Yates, Director of Continence Services, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board

MS Trust representative
Megan Roberts, Head of Health Professionals Programmes, MS Trust

To access the published 2022 consensus on the management of bladder dysfunction in PwMS, sponsored by Hollister, please register below.

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