Specialist nurse from Northamptonshire shortlisted for award to recognise work with multiple sclerosis

Emma Matthews
Emma Matthews

A specialist nurse from Northamptonshire has been selected as a finalist in the 2016 MS Society Awards for her commitment to excellence in providing and improving services for people with multiple sclerosis (MS).

Emma Matthews, age 42, from Northamptonshire and is one of three ‘Professional of the Year’ finalists to be recognised at the charity’s Awards ceremony on Wednesday 27 April in London.

Emma is a ‘committed and dedicated’ MS clinical nurse specialist who works four days a week at Northampton General Hospital.

She said: “No day is the same. Every day is different. In patient clinics I see people who are inquiring about disease modifying treatments (DMTs) whether it’s for a follow-up or because their symptoms are relapsing.

“I also meet with newly diagnosed patients who come through our acute trust to help them set a plan to best manage their MS. Home visits allow me to understand what’s going on in someone’s life beyond a 20 minute meeting in a clinic.

“Home visits are a lovely opportunity for me to build relationships with my patients,” she added.

Emma has developed services at Northampton General Hospital to offer all DMTs recommended by NICE, making them a unique prescribing centre in the area.

When Emma is not at the hospital, she is supporting people with MS at the Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire MS Therapy Centre where, as Emma says, she “promotes more complementary therapies to balance the clinical treatment offered at the hospital”.

“It was a lovely surprise to be named a finalist. I had no idea I was going to be nominated and I’m so excited for the ceremony. I was actually awarded a Queen’s Nurses award in January, and then to get this as well is so overwhelming,” she added.

“All of us MS nurses go above and beyond what were supposed to do. We’re in this line of work because we’re passionate about helping with MS, and to get a pat on the back for that is just brilliant.”

Michelle Mitchell, chief executive of the MS Society, said: “The MS Society Awards are our way of recognising the amazing achievements of people affected by MS and the professionals and researchers who make a difference to their lives.

“We are proud to have Emma as one of this year’s finalists, and we are looking forward to welcoming her to our awards ceremony later this month.”

There are more than 100,000 people living with MS in the UK, and the MS Society is the leading UK charity for people with the condition. People typically start experiencing symptoms in their 20s or 30s, which include sight loss, pain, fatigue, incontinence and disability.

This year’s Awards will be held on April 27 at etc.venues in Bishopsgate, London. The ceremony will be hosted by Scott Mills, Radio 1 DJ and MS Society ambassador, and attended by other household names from the world of TV, radio, music and sport.

The “Professional of the Year” category for the 2016 MS Society Awards is sponsored by Novartis Pharmaceuticals.

James Porter, Novartis Neuroscience franchise head, said: “With over 60 years of experience in neuroscience, Novartis is committed to transforming the lives of people affected by MS.

“The healthcare community continues to play a vital role in the care and wellbeing of people with MS and we are delighted to be able to recognise their dedication to people with this long-term fluctuating condition. We wish all the finalists the very best and thank them for their commitment to people with MS.”

To find out more about the 2016 MS Society Awards please visit www.mssociety.org.uk/msawards. You can follow the Awards ceremony live on Twitter using #MSAwards.