There is a 20 per cent increase in the estimated number of people in the UK living with multiple sclerosis (MS), according to latest figures.
The new data from Public Health England (PHE) and the MS Society, published today, shows that over 130,000 people in the country are now living with MS, compared to the 2018 estimate of 110,000.
The number of people with the condition in all four UK nations has increased, with Scotland seeing the biggest rise from 11,300 to 15,700.
The estimated number of new cases of MS identified each year also increased from 5,000 a year in 2018 to 6,700.
The figures reveal that one in every 500 people in the UK is living with MS, while about 130 people are diagnosed every week on average.
MS Society views the latest figures as confirmation of many more people living with the condition in the UK than previous estimates.
Dr Susan Kohlhaas, Director of Research and External Affairs at the MS Society, said: “While the NHS is getting better at diagnosing and recording cases of MS, unfortunately in many important ways society is getting worse at supporting people with the condition. Compared to just a few years ago, fewer people with MS receive social care support and key welfare payments – and we hear far too many stories of people struggling to stay in work without the adjustments they need.”
“MS is relentless, painful and disabling and people with the condition desperately need the Government to step up and create an expanded and sustainable social care system, overhaul the way benefits are assessed and strengthen rights for employee support,” Dr Kohlhaas added.