Karen Vernon RGN, BSc (Hons), Post Grad Dip, MSCN, NMP is the Nurse Consultant in Multiple Sclerosis of the Greater Manchester & East Cheshire MS Service which is based at Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, one of the leading MS Centres in the UK.
Karen has worked in neurology for longer than she cares to remember! From being a ward manager on an acute neurology ward, to becoming a community neurology nurse to specializing in MS at different centres, to where Karen is today; her neurology career even pre dates DMT’s!
Aside from the advances for patients, Karen considers one of the overwhelming positives in MS care has been the development of the MS specialist nurse role and it is the future proofing of the role that she is passionate about. The equity of service provision to patients with MS is currently another priority for her.
Karen is currently co-chair of the United Kingdom Multiple Sclerosis Specialist Nurse Association (UKMSSNA), and has recently become the UK representative on the Multiple Sclerosis Nurses International Certification Board (MSNICB).
She is currently involved in MS research projects with both Salford and Nottingham University, looking at varying aspects of MS care. Karen has coauthored a number of MS publications over the years and has also had the opportunity to make platform presentations at national and international MS conferences in addition to having numerous poster presentations accepted.
Along with 2 of her Consultant colleagues, Karen has developed an award winning neurological examination course for MS nurses to help them enhance their skills.
Amy Harbour, Multiple Sclerosis Nurse (South East Hants), Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust.
Following graduation from the University of Surrey in 2008 Amy spent 8 years working in recovery in St. Richards hospital.
Just over 2 years ago, Amy was fortunate to become a MS Nurse specialist and has been working in the community, covering a large case load with approximately 850 patients. During this time, Amy has been privileged to go to the Hitchin module, taught by Nikki Abel Ward and was given the opportunity to speak at a national conference, with her findings and research from the Hitchin Course. More recently Amy has been asked to be part of the UKMSNA committee and invited to sit on the care manual working group. Although Amy has been a qualified and practising as a nurse for 10 years, she feels that her career has suddenly become much more interesting. With so much changing within the MS world and Amy feels very fortunate to be part of it.
Dr Richard Warner RN PhD, Gloucester Royal Hospital.
Dr Warner is a Consultant Nurse based at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. He has had an extensive clinical career specialising in multiple sclerosis. He has contributed to NICE clinical guidelines and quality standards for MS. He has authored and co-authored a range of publications and presented posters, platform and workshop sessions at conferences.
Mary Fraser, Addenbrookes Hospital, Department of Neurology, Cambridge.
Mary Fraser has worked in the field of MS for over 20 years. Her interest was first kindled by the job of research nurse to MS studies in Cambridge which gave her the opportunity to meet people with MS and their extended families all over the UK. When disease modifying treatments for MS first became available on the NHS, she was able to take on a more clinical role developing the clinical service for treatments, and then adding in nurse appointments for newly diagnosed people with MS.
Gradually she has built up a small team of specialist nurses to offer a comprehensive MS Nurse service to people with relapsing and progressive forms of the condition. She enjoys working closely with MS charities at local and national level for different events, contributing to some of the literature produced for people with MS and teaching on courses to support new MS Specialist nurses.
Nicki Ward-Abel RGN, BSc (Hons), MSCN was a Lecturer Practitioner in MS at Birmingham City University. She also had a honorary contract with the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. She was passionate about patient care and the education within the MS community.
Nicki had been involved in the World of MS for over 20 years and was one of the first MS Nurses in the UK, appointed just at the time the injectable DMTs were licensed. She had obviously seen a great deal of change in the way people with MS are cared for and managed during this period. Nicki was proud to have been recently interviewed by an Australian author who is writing a book about the ‘stories of MS Nurses’ which sounds as though it’s going to be an amazing read.
Her speciality interest areas were Sexual dysfunction, fatigue and care of the person with progressive MS. She had written a range of publications, including one that was recently printed in the British Journal of Neuroscience Nursing. She was involved with International MS Nursing groups and worked with the International Organisation of MS Nurses. She had been involved in the compilation of MS Nurse Pro, a European online MS Nurse education programme that is available, accredited and translated in 11 different languages and 14 countries. She wad privileged to present on this in the first MS Nurse Workshop at ECTRIMS in Paris in 2017, what an honour. Nicki sadly passed away in 2018, a few months before the inaugural MSNATL meeting.