MS Nurse Wins the Funding to Start Outreach Group08/11/2022
AN OUTREACH community for people with multiple sclerosis will be started after the local nurse specialist won a special funding award.
Article by Juliet Porteaux, Guernsey Press, 1 November 2022
The International Organisation of Multiple Sclerosis Nurses invites eligible candidates to apply for 10 Nightingale awards each year, which grants $5,000 for projects related to MS nursing.
This year local clinical nurse specialist Debbie Robilliard was one of the 10 recipients chosen from hundreds of applicants worldwide.
‘My vision for my MS-related project was to create an MS community outreach service, where clients could come for weekly community-based nurse-led clinics, therapy and wellbeing intervention, support, education, and resources with the overarching aim to put care into the heart of the community and provide a streamlined service in the right place to meet the needs of my patients,’ she said.
The project will include support for child carers, to create a safe space where they can express their concerns and gain support, but also to have time out and to take part in activities that allows them to just be in a carefree moment.
Mrs Robilliard has been in discussion with local charities and has already run Christmas parties, but wants to expand this with activity days or linking in with the Youth Commission/Sunflower Trust to create health and wellbeing workshops for children.
‘As part of my continued commitment to this group of patients, I am striving to improve the holistic approach to care and looking at more community health and wellbeing interventions,’ she said.
‘With the help of the local charities, we have set up several interventions such as exercise programmes, support groups, singing, and dancing. I am looking to improve on this successful and innovative approach.’
Mrs Robilliard said the prize money was enough to get the project off the ground. Having showed it worked, they would then be able to apply for other funding options.
The award recognises significant accomplishments in MS nursing.
‘This important honour shines a light on the profound role that the nursing professionals play in the lives of those affected by MS,’ said IOMSN chief executive officer June Halper.
MS in Guernsey
There are more than 150 people in Guernsey with MS.
It is a condition that can affect the brain and spinal cord, causing a wide range of potential symptoms, including problems with vision, arm or leg movement, sensation or balance.
It is a lifelong condition that can sometimes cause serious disability.