Introduction Principle 1 of the NHS constitution states that access to services should be non-discriminatory including ethnic background. Early diagnosis and initiation of disease modifying treatment (DMT) in people with multiple sclerosis (pwMS) is important for prognosis. We report findings from a re-audit of ethnic equity of clinical service experience in pwMS in east London.
Methods Retrospective cohort of pwMS ≥18 years old, diagnosed between 2014–2017 with 2 years of follow-up, attending Neurology services at Barts Health NHS Trust. We compared access to MS services between ethnic groups. Result variables included (i) first symptom to diagnosis (S2D) and (ii) diagnosis to DMT (D2T).
Results 59 pwMS fulfilled inclusion criteria, 7/59 were Black, 13/59 South Asian, 22/59 White and 17/59 as Other. There was a non-significant trend towards shorter S2D in White pwMS (1.2 years) compared to the other groups (Black 1.94, South Asian 1.93 and Other 1.55) (p=0.54). No difference was observed regarding D2T (Black 0.51 years, South Asian 0.31, White 0.58 and Other 0.47, p=0.25).
Conclusion Reassuringly, no ethnic inequity of access to MS services was detected, confirming findings of the original audit.
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