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NHS Western Isles MS Specialist Nurse Rachel Morrison was delighted to be given a Judges Special Award at the national QuDoS MS Awards on 10 November in Leicester, in recognition of the digital innovation being used in her local service.

Rachel (left) is shown accepting the award being presented by Professor Dawn Langdon, who chaired the 2017 judging panel and is Professor of Neuropsychology at the Royal Holloway, University of London.

The national QuDoS MS Awards highlights innovation and excellence in MS care management and service delivery, recognising the valuable contribution of individuals and teams in improving the quality of life and experience of care for those with MS.

Rachel was nominated as a finalist in two categories, an amazing achievement as she was competing against specialist centres and hospitals from all over the UK.  The two categories were 'The Innovation in Care Award', where she was one of only two Scottish finalists in a shortlist of 11, and the 'National Team Award', where she was the only Scottish finalist in a shortlist of nine. 

Rachel has collaborated with the NHS Western Isles TEC team to develop digital services for local MS patients.  This has included introducing Video Conferencing (VC) through Attend Anywhere, a facility which enables MS patients unable to leave their own homes to link into the MS Service Advisory Group and faciliate consultations with mainland-based Consultants to support rehabilitation and management of progressive MS.   It has also included the introduction of Florence, a local text-based service, which has been adopted by her service to remind MS patients of their upcoming blood tests, to undertake pelvic floor exercises, and launching a Florence Relapse Pathway for the management of relapse.

Rachel was nominated for the awards by NHS Western Isles Medical Director Dr Angus McKellar and Director of Public Health Dr Maggie Watts.  Dr McKellar said "I am absolutely delighted to see Rachel’s work recognised at such a national level.  Rachel and our IT Department staff have worked collaboratively to investigate and source innovative solutions to the practical difficulties of living in the remote and rural hinterlands of the Western Isles.  

"The introduction of Attend Anywhere has transformed the MS Service, with patients now able to see clinicians quickly and safely, wherever they live in the Western Isles. The use of technology tailored to fit each individual’s needs has been instrumental in empowering patients to self manage and allowing them to have stress free consultations from their own homes”.