Im­proved ser­vice for MS pa­tients

East Kilbride News - - NEWS - An­drea O’Neill

Mul­ti­ple scle­ro­sis pa­tients look set to ben­e­fit from the re­cruit­ment of two new MS spe­cial­ist nurses to support the 1200 peo­ple liv­ing with the con­di­tion in La­nark­shire.

A part-time neu­rol­ogy nurse will also join the NHS La­nark­shire team later this month thanks to as­sis­tance from the MS Trust – a UK charity which works to make sure that peo­ple with MS get the best pos­si­ble care.

The cri­sis in the care of MS pa­tients in La­nark­shire was ex­posed with the shock res­ig­na­tion of Mhairi Coutts, the re­gion’s only spe­cial­ist nurse, ear­lier this year.

Ms Coutts handed in her no­tice after work­ing with a caseload of 1200 peo­ple – al­most four times the rec­om­mended limit.

It revealed a se­ri­ous staffing prob­lem across Scot­land with MS So­ci­ety Scot­land stat­ing that there is a wide­spread lack of spe­cial­ist nurses to look after suf­fer­ers at home.

As part of its na­tion­wide spe­cial­ist nurse pro­gramme, the MS Trust will be part-fund­ing one of the nurses for 15 months and sup­port­ing the whole team to make a dif­fer­ence for peo­ple af­fected by MS in La­nark­shire.

NHS La­nark­shire worked to­gether with the MS Trust to re­view the MS ser­vice and to en­sure there was min­i­mal im­pact on pa­tient care.

Maria Docherty, nurse direc­tor of South La­nark­shire Health and So­cial Care Part­ner­ship, said:“Thanks to fund­ing and support from the MS Trust, we were able to ap­point two new nurses when pre­vi­ously we had one. NHS La­nark­shire will con­tinue to fund the ad­di­tional nurse on a per­ma­nent ba­sis after the first 15 months. This will mean we will be able to de­liver an im­proved ser­vice for lo­cal peo­ple af­fected by MS.”

MS spe­cial­ist nurses are vital for peo­ple liv­ing with MS – they can help them ad­just to di­ag­no­sis, con­sider com­pli­cated treat­ment op­tions, man­age a wide range of symp­toms and learn to live well with an un­pre­dictable, of­ten de­bil­i­tat­ing con­di­tion.

NHS La­nark­shire

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