AN MS sufferer who campaigned for a pioneering treatment to be provided in Hounslow has won a national award.
Cliff Hewison of Twickenham Road in Isleworth won the 'MS Campaign of the Year' award after successfully campaigning for a device which can help people who suffer from the debilitating illness stay mobile.
Cliff, 38, eventually managed to get Hounslow PCT to provide him with a Functional Electronic Stimulation device, after being refused three times – paving the way for other sufferers to also benefit from the technology.
The oil and gas engineering consultant said: "This is an absolutely fundamental device. It's the difference between walking and being in a wheelchair. We are talking about hundreds of people in Hounslow who could benefit from this device but are not getting it."
Evidence from Cliff's medical assessments and support from specialists proved that the treatment was necessary and was awarded funding.
Cliff said: “It is amazing and humbling to win this award. Through my campaign, I feel I’ve given other people with MS in Hounslow and across the UK inspiration to make sure they have access to the right treatment and not fall at the hurdles. This treatment has made a huge difference to my quality of life."
Cliff's campaign inspired the MS Society’s ‘How to campaign for FES’ guide, endorsed by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), that has helped many other people with MS to challenge local decision-makers and get what they are entitled to from the NHS.
Laura Weir, Head of Policy & Campaigns for the MS Society, said: “Cliff’s hard work and determination have been inspirational. His campaign has set a precedent for other people with MS needing access to the treatment in the area."
Cliff was awarded the accolade at the MS Awards Ceremony in London last week.
To find out more about the MS Society’s new manifesto, outlining the right to a full life for people with MS, visit www.mssociety.org.uk/manifesto .