Left in limbo

Mul­ti­ple sclero­sis cri­sis

Rutherglen Reformer - - Front Page - Jonathan Ged­des

A Spring­hall man who suf­fers from mul­ti­ple sclero­sis has been left in limbo af­ter La­nark­shire’s only spe­cial­ist MS nurse handed in her no­tice.

Steven Ton­ner was first di­ag­nosed with the con­di­tion four years ago.

A Spring­hall man who suf­fers from mul­ti­ple sclero­sis has been left in limbo af­ter La­nark­shire’s only spe­cial­ist MS nurse handed in her no­tice.

Steven Ton­ner was told two months ago that he was now be­ing re­ferred to Mhairi Coutts for his check-ups.

How­ever, she has now stepped down to move to a new job - and she is the only nurse cov­er­ing La­nark­shire’s 1200 patients.

Steven has not been told who he is now be­ing re­ferred to.

He said: “I was pre­vi­ously go­ing to the South­ern Gen­eral, but two months ago I was told I was get­ting re­ferred to Mhairi. “Now I don’t know what is hap­pen­ing. “The nurses are im­por­tant. They give you a lot of time and they keep up to date with your con­di­tion.”

Steven will have had MS for four years this July.

Af­ter be­ing di­ag­nosed with the con­di­tion he was forced to give up his job as a post­man.

He said: “My own doc­tor had re­ferred to the South­ern and they sent me for a brain scan. “MS has got an ef­fect on you all the time. “Your mo­bil­ity is af­fected and you need to watch ev­ery step you take.

“My kitchen might be right next to me but I still need to be care­ful go­ing there.”

A lo­cal woman who did not wish to be named also con­tacted the Re­former about the sit­u­a­tion.

She said: “I have had the same MS nurse since di­ag­no­sis three years ago.

“I didn’t re­ceive any­thing to let me know that new cover would be put in place fol­low­ing her res­ig­na­tion.

“It is a quite wor­ry­ing time for peo­ple, es­pe­cially for those like my­self who are on dis­ease-mod­i­fy­ing treat­ments that need to be care­fully mon­i­tored.

“I hope that NHS La­nark­shire will be able to work to im­prove the nurs­ing re­source in the area.”

The news came as MS aware­ness week was marked.

There are 11,190 peo­ple in Scot­land with MS, with more than 600 new di­ag­noses ev­ery year.

Scot­land has the sec­ond high­est rate of mul­ti­ple sclero­sis in the world, only be­hind Canada.

The neu­ro­log­i­cal con­di­tion af­fects the nerves in the brain and spinal cord and has a num­ber of un­pre­dictable symp­toms.

The is­sue in La­nark­shire first came to light last week through our sis­ter ti­tle, the Daily Record.

Maria Docherty, nurse di­rec­tor of South La­nark­shire Health and So­cial Care Part­ner­ship, said: “We have acted quickly to start re­cruit­ing a re­place­ment MS spe­cial­ist nurse.

“We have also put in place cover pro­vided by very ex­pe­ri­enced nurses with ad­vanced clin­i­cal skills and some ex­pe­ri­ence of deal­ing with patients with MS.

“Cov­er­ing ar­range­ments will re­main in place un­til a new MS spe­cial­ist nurse starts and we will en­sure patients re­ceive what­ever sup­port they need dur­ing this time to con­tinue their safe and ap­pro­pri­ate care.

“We are dis­ap­pointed and con­cerned that de­spite this ro­bust and safety-driven ap­proach, some peo­ple have cho­sen to scare­mon­ger and need­lessly raise pa­tient anx­i­eties about the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion.”

We have acted quickly to start re­cruit­ing a re­place­ment MS spe­cial­ist nurse Maria Docherty, nurse di­rec­tor

Lim­boSteven Ton­ner says he has been left in limbo af­ter the res­ig­na­tion of La­nark­shire’s only MS nurse

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