MSNTC is a membership organisation which exists solely to support the continuing development of member centres using the power of collective action. It was created by the member centres and is a registered charity in England & Wales and Scotland. It is directed by the centres and partially funded by them.
It is more difficult for small charities to operate alone in a world which is increasingly sophisticated and competitive. However large the individual centres may be, collective action by many centres provides important benefits. By providing a common voice at a national level, MSNTC supports promotion and awareness-raising and is able to be part of broader discussions affection centres and people living with MS.
As a larger organisation, MSNTC is also able to negotiate preferential rates for various items and services, to benefit all centres.
MSNTC supports the fundraising activities of centres through the provision of centrally organised/funded workshops and networking opportunities, as well as securing a number of charity places at large events such as the Virgin Money London Marathon and the Prudential Ride London-Surrey 100.
As an umbrella body, at MSNTC we represent MS Therapy Centres across the country and it is therefore important to us that our member centres operate to certain standards. With many centres relying on volunteers to operate, it can be difficult to ensure critical documents such as policies & procedures and risk assessments are kept up to date. MSNTC supports centres by providing generic templates that can be used or adapted to suit each centre.
Each trustee of MSNTC is responsible for a group of centres within a region and regular regional meetings are arranged to give centre managers and trustees the opportunity to network. In addition, since 2015 MSNTC has arranged an annual conference for centre representatives. The conference is designed to allow information sharing and gathering, with relevant key note speakers and exhibitors as well as an opportunity to meet with trustees and colleagues at centres from across the country.
Additional seminars and workshops are also provided to support centres in various aspects of their day-to-day operation, such as management training or advice on moving and expanding a centre.
Due to their outstanding safety record in the delivery of oxygen treatment for people with MS and neurological conditions, the MS Therapy Centres were deregulated from the conditions of the Care Standards Act in 2008. To ensure that the standards and safety of the treatment are maintained, MSNTC provides centres with the Oxygen Treatment Training and Reference Manual. This details the way in which barochambers should be operated and maintained to ensure safe and efficient operation.
Within the Training and Reference Manual we have established the Cascade System of operator training and reporting. Operator training is led by our technical adviser, Mr David. P Downie MBE FIMT CHT E-BAS ECHCO with support from our honorary medical adviser Professor Philip James MB ChB PhD DiH FFOM.
Copies of the Training and Reference Manual are provided to centres by MSNTC, with a master copy being stored and updated as appropriate by MSNTC. Any updates and amendments are communicated to centres.
Each has its own specific agenda, parts of which may overlap with, complement or be quite distinct from that of the others. What concerns each charity is the need to ensure that people living with MS know they have advice and support to hand when they need it. What distinguishes MSNTC is that its members are independent charities themselves which are devoted exclusively to the delivery of immediate, practical physical and emotional support to people with MS, their families and their carers.
MSNTC has a long-term aim to work in co-operation and harmony with each of these charities but the closest relationship is with the MS Society, the only other MS charity with a regional and local network of branches. This enables people living with MS to engage with both branches and Centres in their locality. Accordingly, the two charities entered into an agreement in 2009 to embark upon a joint programme of co-operation which would enhance the ability of people with MS to live their lives to the full.
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