Melsbroek MS Centre to lend its expertise to the EMSP Spring Conference17.03.2014
The National MS Center in Melsbroek, Belgium will participate in EMSP’s Spring Conference in Dublin, where Medical Director Tom Meurrens will be involved in a ‘wellbeing marketplace’ and in a workshop session on exchange of good practice.
On 17 March, EMSP CEO Maggie Alexander met with Tom Meurrens and Managing Director Marc Jans during a visit to the Melsbroek MS Center and also had very useful discussions on the importance of a multidisciplinary approach to rehabilitation as well as on possible future collaboration around EMSP initiatives such as the new Believe and Achieve project or the Pan-European MS Patient Experience survey.
Managing Director Marc Jans offered a brief presentation of the Melsbroek MS Center, which has been operating for more than 50 years and which plans to expand its capabilities by building a new hospital between 2016 and 2019. With a capacity of 134 beds and 70 ambulant places, and relying on around 320 members of staff, the MS Center in Melsbroek is able to offer holistic care that includes physiotherapy, hydrotherapy, logotherapy and ergotherapy as well as psychological and social support.
The centre receives additional funding from the Belgium Federal Government through special conventions on rehabilitation, transmural MS support and chronic care. In the words of Medical Director Tom Meurrens, “the Melsbroek centre provides people with MS or other chronic neurological disorders personalised, safe, comprehensive, top clinical and integrated differentiated care programs”.
The influx of patients offers a relevant image of the centre’s regional importance: for example, 800 MS patients were admitted last year, the number continually growing since 2009; some 200 of them were new patients; the average stay in Melsbroek for a person seeking MS treatment is 42 days per year.
There are six MS centres in Belgium offering multidisciplinary services for MS patients; the specificity of Melsbroek is that it treats almost exclusively people with multiple sclerosis, both newly diagnosed and those who have been living with MS for many years. This is in line with the Melsbroek centre’s mission to provide tailored care at each phase of multiple sclerosis.