MID Scotland and Fife MSP Alex Rowley pledged support for MS nurses in Scotland.
The MS Society Scotland were in the Scottish Parliament in a bid to raise awareness of the vital role the MS nurse has on the lives of people living with the neurological condition.
Alex Rowley said: “MS nurses should be recognised for their dedicated hard work in helping those suffering from MS. At a time where local services are under massive burdens, these nurses are working tirelessly to help those in need.”
Regularly cited as a key contact for people with MS, the role and responsibilities of the MS nurse can be wide-ranging and varied. These include monitoring people for potentially dangerous side effects who are receiving drug modifying therapies (DMTs), as well as giving emotional support and helping to navigate the social care system. The specialist role means that nurses can also provide expert advice to their patients on symptom management and living as best as possible with MS.
Despite the importance of this role, only five of the 11 mainland health boards are deemed to have sustainable levels of MS nurse provision. In one health board the case load is four times the recommended amount, the Kelty based MSP pointed out.
Mr Rowley said: “Our NHS is under massive strain from continuous cuts. The shortage of these specialist nurse roles is the visible result of those cuts. We need to stand up for our NHS and oppose further austerity measures that hurt those in need the most.”
Morna Simpkins, Director for MS Society Scotland said: “Over the years the role of the MS Specialist Nurse has become more complex, we need this to be recognised and resourced by the health service in order to give people with MS the support they need.
“MS is an unpredictable and sometimes painful condition that can affect how a person thinks, feels and moves – and we need to ensure that people are receiving the support and care they need to live as well as they can with MS.”
Over 11,000 people in Scotland live with MS which can be unpredictable and can affect how a person thinks, feels and moves. For more information on the work of the MS Society, please visit www.mssociety.org.uk